Riordan: SPL gap is narrowing

24 January 2010 08:10
Hibs can close to within two points of Celtic in the Scottish Premier League if they win at Parkhead on Wednesday night, a result Riordan reckons is perfectly possible after helping them put Hamilton to the sword on Saturday.

But the Scotland international is nevertheless refusing to look at the implications of moving to within striking range of second place.

"We've just got to keep winning our own games and try to get up as high as we can," said the 27-year-old, who spent two years of hell at Celtic before returning to Easter Road in 2008.

"It'll be a tough game for us.

"Parkhead's a hard place to go and get a result.

"I think other teams are catching up with the Old Firm these days and getting results off them.

"Hearts got a result at Ibrox.

"So we've just got to go there, think positive, and try to take as much as we can out of it."

Hibs ran riot on Saturday, ending a three-match winless run in the SPL by crushing Hamilton 5-1, their biggest victory since the 2007 League Cup final.

Riordan was still at Celtic back then, while Kevin Thomson had just joined Rangers and Scott Brown and Ivan Sproule were on the verge of leaving the club.

That crop of players were making their names at Easter Road the last time Hibs finished third in the SPL five years ago.

Riordan believes current boss John Hughes may have assembled their best squad since then, saying: "It's a bit like back at my first time at Hibs.

"We're starting to get a good balance to the team now, so it's enjoyable."

Asked if it was as much fun playing in this team, Riordan joked: "No - you've got Stokesy up front who doesn't pass the ball!"

Riordan was referring to Anthony Stokes, who joined him in grabbing a brace on Saturday after Colin Nish opened the scoring.

The pair have netted the bulk of their side's goals this season, with Stokes now on 13 and Riordan four behind.

"We've not got a bet on," Riordan added.

"He should win it anyway; I'm playing left-midfield this season so he'll get more chances than me."

They will not come from set pieces if Riordan has anything to do with it after he scored a free-kick on Saturday moments after Stokes had seen one saved.

"He keeps on going on about how he can hit free-kicks," Riordan said.

"So I had to show him how to do it."

Hamilton goalkeeper Tomas Cerny refused to use fatigue as an excuse despite Saturday's game being his side's fifth in a fortnight.

"We might have been a bit tired but that wasn't the most imrtant thing," said the 24-year-old, who watched Flavio Paixao net Accies' consolation on Saturday.

"Towards the end, we looked sharper than Hibs, but it could also be the case that they were 5-1 up and were taking it easy for the last 20-25 minutes."

There is no respite in Hamilton's schedule, with their next game Tuesday night's crucial bottom-of-the-table clash with Kilmarnock.

Cerny added on his club's official website: "We have to go into the game against Killie on Tuesdy and be ready for it because that's a massive one for us.

"It's at home so I hope we can play well and I expect us to score some goals finally and try to climb the table."

Source: Team_Talk