Hughes aiming for European place

24 January 2010 01:46
Hibs romped to their biggest win since the 2007 League Cup final as five goals in 37 minutes handed them a 5-1 victory at Easter Road.[LNB]This result emphatically ended a run of three games without a win that saw Hughes' men last week overtaken by Dundee United.[LNB]Until Saturday, the Hibs boss had been reluctant to set his side a specific target this season but he left no doubt after watching arguably their best attacking performance since he took charge last summer.[LNB]He said: "I'll go public and I'll say this: I want third spot and Europe.[LNB]"There's no point in shying away from it.[LNB]"I want it and I said that to the players.[LNB]"Let's make sure that we're doing everything to try to achieve that.[LNB]"I'm wanting it and that's the demands I'm putting on them.[LNB]"Three points today and that performance, that'll go a long way to getting us there.[LNB]"If we don't, it won't be for the want of trying."[LNB]However, Hughes all but ruled out pushing Celtic for second spot, despite closing to within two points of Tony Mowbray's men, who play tomorrow.[LNB]"You'd always like to go and challenge them," he said.[LNB]"But I think the Old Firm are miles in front of us."[LNB]Striker Derek Riordan, who scored twice, was ready to live up to the standards his manager is demanding.[LNB]"That's our main aim," he said of third place.[LNB]"We've had a good start to the season until now, so we've just got to keep pushing forward."[LNB]Anthony Stokes also scored a brace, while Colin Nish netted the 16th-minute opener, justifying Hughes' decision to restore his three-pronged attack.[LNB]But Hamilton, who have played Rangers in league and cup three times this month, created plenty of chances of their own and could have been ahead early on.[LNB]Hughes said: "For the first 10 minutes, I felt Hamilton were the better side.[LNB]"Graeme Smith made one or two saves to keep us in the game.[LNB]"Once we got the first goal, I felt for an hour after that we played some really good stuff.[LNB]"I think we caught Hamilton at the right time.[LNB]"They've come off three momentous games with Rangers."[LNB]Hughes refused to confirm or deny an interest in Preston defender Michael Hart or Celtic goalkeeper Mark Brown, joking: "I would take wee Scotty Brown from Celtic."[LNB]Opposite number Billy Reid was stunned his side were beaten so heavily, saying: "It was a strange game.[LNB]"I think we were losing 5-0 with 30 minutes to go, which I couldn't quite believe.[LNB]"I thought we'd scored early on from a set piece - the ball just didn't go in the net."[LNB]And the Accies boss hit out at the decision to allow Hibs' second goal after Stokes appeared to barge Alex Neil off the ball.[LNB]"I thought it was a clear foul - it was an easy decision for the referee to make," said Reid, whose side's consolation was scored by Flavio Paixao.[LNB]"We lost it for a wee bit.[LNB]"We've come in 3-0 (down) and I said to the players, 'We don't give in at this club'.[LNB]"The game's 5-1 but I don't think anyone could complain if their goalkeeper's man of the match."[LNB]Yet Reid admitted he blundered by playing midfielder Neil in defence, adding: "It probably didn't work and I take a wee bit of responsibility for that."[LNB][LNB][LNB]

Source: Team_Talk