Lee Johnson excited by season finale as Hibernian push for Europe

Hibs are in the frame for a Europa Conference League place.

Lee Johnson excited by season finale as Hibernian push for Europe SNS Group

Hibernian manager Lee Johnson is relishing a blockbuster finale to the season as his team bid to secure a European place.

The Easter Road side finish their campaign with back-to-back home games against the cinch Premiership’s top two of Rangers and Celtic followed by an Edinburgh derby away to Hearts on the final day.

The stakes are high for Johnson’s team, who are currently fifth in the table, a point behind the Jambos and three ahead of St Mirren.

A fifth-placed finish will be enough to earn a crack at Europe next term as long as Celtic beat Championship side Inverness in the Scottish Cup final next month, while fourth will guarantee a place in continental competition regardless.

“We’re very excited, it’s a great three games,” Johnson told Sky Sports. “We’ve got Rangers at home on the Sunday, Celtic at home on the Wednesday and Hearts away on the Saturday, so it doesn’t get bigger than that for us.

“We’re in good form, the boys are playing well and feeling confident, so we have to maximise the points on offer, but they’re tough games.”

Hibs are buoyed by a four-game unbeaten run ahead of their visit from Rangers this Sunday and Johnson is heartened by the way his team performed in their goalless draw away to Aberdeen last weekend.

“We were outstanding on Saturday,” he said. “Aberdeen are on a great run but the boys absolutely implemented the game plan to perfection apart from that elusive goal.

“We hit the woodwork four times, missed a penalty and dominated between the boxes. It was really good from us but we need to maintain that standard and performance level.

“We were disappointed we couldn’t take the three as that would put us in with a shout of fighting for third but we will keep fighting. It’s important for us we continue to improve because it’s a relatively new project.”

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