Kerr: Hibs’ at­tempt at mind games won’t af­fect us dur­ing run-in

The Herald - Herald Sport - - LADBROKES CHAMPIONSHIP - KEVIN FER­RIE

IF to­mor­row’s long-dis­tance duel for the pre­ferred play-off spot among the Cham­pi­onship con­tenders is to be in­flu­enced by the courage of con­vic­tions, then Mark Kerr thinks Falkirk have the up­per hand.

Vic­tory for the Bairns against Mor­ton will leave Hibs need­ing to win by three more goals against Queen of the South and the vet­eran de­fender reck­ons he and his team­mates have shown their met­tle in get­ting into this po­si­tion.

“You’d have ex­pected Hibs to fin­ish 20 points ahead of us, no prob­lem,” the 34-year-old ac­knowl­edged.

“I think that’s why the pres­sure is on them. But we will have pres­sure on Sun­day be­cause we’ve been se­cond for a while now and we are ex­pected to fin­ish se­cond, but that’s good pres­sure.”

A num­ber of jibes ques­tion­ing Falkirk’s ca­pac­ity to cope with that have been at­trib­uted to play­ers and man­age­ment at Easter Road but Kerr in­sisted that has done noth­ing to un­der­mine their con­fi­dence.

“We be­lieve we are as good as Hibs,” he as­serted.

“If we felt in­fe­rior, they might get in our heads but they don’t. Them say­ing things doesn’t make any dif­fer­ence to us.

“If we thought they were a lot bet­ter, maybe they would catch us but we think we are as good as any team in the league.

“We give teams re­spect. When we play Mor­ton, we know they are a good side. I think that’s where we have got it right. We don’t go into games think­ing we are bet­ter than teams but we go out there and try to show we are bet­ter than them.”

He ex­presses amuse­ment at the way Hibs seem to be em­ploy­ing the same psy­cho­log­i­cal tac­tics as those that ul­ti­mately failed when they were con­tend­ing for the ti­tle with Rangers be­fore fall­ing away.

“It was Rangers and Hibs at the start of the sea­son. They were hav­ing a go at each other but when Rangers pulled away, the at­ten­tion turned to us. That’s what I think is funny and so do the boys. It’s just mind games but it doesn’t af­fect us,” Kerr ob­served.

In­deed, it seems it is a strat­egy that may have proved counter-pro­duc­tive, since the way in which Kerr claims Hibs play­ers have dis­tanced them­selves from com­ments – such as the ques­tion­ing from among their ranks of whether Falkirk have “big-game play­ers” – has drawn him to con­clude that they are the ones feel­ing the pres­sure such ex­changes can gen­er­ate.

“It cer­tainly does when 15 min­utes into a game against Hibs at Easter Road, you have boys com­ing up and apol­o­gis­ing, say­ing they didn’t say that (big-game play­ers) in the pa­pers,” he said.

“That’s when you re­alise that they’ve got a bit of re­spect for us.”

NO PRES­SURE: Mark Kerr says Hibs have it all to do not Falkirk

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