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Hanlon hopes to bounce back
Published : 23 Nov 2012 13:12:00
Hibernian defender Paul Hanlon hopes his side can continue their trend of responding swiftly to defeat when they face Aberdeen on Saturday.
Hibs have won five and drawn two of their seven home matches this term and, following a 3-1 loss at Dundee last weekend, are determined to keep the unbeaten streak going at Easter Road against a side one place and three points below them in the SPL. The most recent loss prior to the Dens Park defeat, at Ross County, was followed by a 4-0 win at Motherwell and Hanlon is seeking a similar result.
"We were majorly disappointed after the game at Dundee," the defender said.
"We just need to pick ourselves up like we have done throughout the season.
"When we've had bad results we've bounced back right away. Hopefully we'll do that again this weekend."
Hibs entered last weekend on top of the SPL but Hanlon is adamant complacency was not a factor at Dundee. The defeat against the bottom side came before a crucial run of fixtures with Hibs playing at St Johnstone in midweek before the Edinburgh derby in the Scottish Cup fourth round.
"We weren't getting carried away with the position we were in," added Hanlon, who was part of the team beaten 5-1 by Hearts in the Scottish Cup final in May.
"We know how tight the league is and we know if we're not on our game every week then there's a chance you're going to get beaten, that's what happened at Dundee. Hopefully we can put it right. "It's a massive week for us, three big games, but we're not looking any further forward than Aberdeen just now."
Hanlon has been without regular central defensive partner James McPake of late due to the club captain's back injury. The 22-year-old stand-in skipper is happy with the additional responsibility and is looking to ensure Hibs do not notice McPake's absence, if the defender fails to recover in time for tomorrow's match.
"It's a bit of an adjustment moving to the right side of defence," said Hanlon, who has been in the back four alongside Ryan McGivern.
"James has helped a lot since he came in. He's a good leader and gives me tips.
"Hopefully I can put a good performance at the weekend and show we don't need him in the team every week."
Hanlon captained Scotland Under-21s under Billy Stark. Now Stark is in interim charge following Craig Levein's departure, Hanlon could get an opportunity for full Scotland honours.
"It was great working with him at the under-21s and I wish him all the best," Hanlon said.
"The thing that would help my chances most would be playing well for Hibs, which I'm trying to do every week."