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Nick Montgomery clings to top-six hopes despite defeat for Hibernian

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Apr 2024

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Nick Montgomery admitted the only consolation following Hibernian’s 2-1 home defeat by St Johnstone was that their top-six bid was not completely extinguished.

The Easter Road side would have been guaranteed to be playing the season out in the bottom six if sixth-placed Dundee had held on to beat Motherwell, but the Dark Blues lost 3-2 despite leading 2-0 until the 79th minute.

“I obviously wasn’t looking at that during the game, I heard afterwards,” said Montgomery of events at Dens Park. “If we can take any positive out of today – which is difficult – then we take that as one, but we don’t want to be relying on other people.

“There are two teams we could have caught (St Mirren and Dundee) if we got maximum points.

“Now it’s one team (Dundee) and we have to rely on their results. It’s not ideal.”

Dundee remain a point ahead of Hibs with a game in hand. The Dark Blues host Rangers and then travel to Aberdeen on Saturday, while Hibs’ only remaining pre-split fixture is away to a Motherwell side who could squeeze into the top six themselves if they beat Montgomery’s side and the Dark Blues lose both of their matches.

“We have to be positive and we have to believe that results go our way,” said Montgomery.

“All we can do is go to Motherwell next weekend knowing that we have to win the game to give ourselves a chance of still making the top six.

“Until that’s mathematically impossible, we have to believe. We’ve been on a good run. We lost at Rangers last week and I’m really disappointed to lose to St Johnstone because we needed to win.

“We could have put big pressure on the teams above us but it’s out of our hands now.”

St Johnstone claimed their win when Tony Gallacher scored in the 81st minute after Hibs right-back Chris Cadden had cancelled out Adama Sidibeh’s opener.

The result moved Saints five points clear of second bottom Ross County in the battle to avoid the relegation play-off spot, but boss Craig Levein is adamant they are not safe yet.

“I think we’re still involved at the moment,” he said.

“But we need to try and build on this, we can’t get ahead of ourselves. Hopefully we can go on a run now.”

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