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