James Jeggo is determined to get a crack at Europe with Hibernian after experiencing Easter Road at its raucous best in last weekend’s Edinburgh derby victory.
The Hibees need a win away to St Johnstone on Saturday to ensure their place in the top six of the cinch Premiership after the split.
That would then allow them to compete for one of the Europa League or Europa Conference League qualification spots, which – as long as Rangers or Celtic win the Scottish Cup – will go to the teams finishing third, fourth and fifth.
Jeggo, who joined the Hibees in January, loved every minute of last weekend’s victory over city rivals Hearts and is determined to sample more big occasions like that in the early months of next season by helping his team into Europe.
“For this club, Europe is a target every season and for a player you want to play at the highest level possible,” said the Australian midfielder. “Playing in Europe is a challenge everyone wants to experience.
“You look at the atmosphere last weekend and it makes you imagine what playing in Europe would be like here. We all want to experience more moments like that, and playing in Europe would give us those moments.”
After the euphoria of ending a run of nine derbies without a victory, Jeggo explained that Hibernian have been working hard to ensure their focus for this weekend’s crucial trip to Perth does not waver.
“With the pressure that was on us and knowing what would have ensued if we had lost, for us to put in a performance like that it was absolutely massive,” he said. “We really enjoyed the moment, it was extremely special after the game.
“But in terms of where we are in the table, it was just three points. We’ve still got another big job this weekend. This week’s been all about getting the focus back on picking up three points at St Johnstone to guarantee top six.”
The merits of the Premiership split has been a topic of debate ever since it was implemented more than two decades ago as it can often lead to a fixture imbalance. However, the counter-argument is the drama it leads to, with Hibs vying with St Mirren and Livingston to seal the last two places in the top six this weekend.
“I’ve been in a couple of other leagues where it’s similar,” said Jeggo, when asked about the split. “It definitely puts the pressure on because you know if you don’t get into the top six there is no chance to claw it back over the last couple of weeks of the season.
“It makes the league more interesting and adds to it all but it obviously puts clubs under more pressure to get into the top six.
“As a player, getting into the top six means more big games and being able to look forward to potentially another derby and the other big games is quite exciting.”
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