Stevenson feared he had blown chance

30 October 2009 03:30
But the young defender is now hoping he did enough in the remaining 32 minutes at Ibrox to earn his first competitive start under John Hughes on Saturday.

Stevenson, 21, has been forced to bide his time since Hughes took charge of his boyhood idols this summer.

But when things were going awry against Rangers last Saturday, the Hibs boss did not hesitate to throw him into the fray.

His 58th-minute introduction proved inspired with Hibs scoring five minutes later to secure a 1-1 draw to maintain their excellent start to the Scottish Premier League season.

"I was delighted to get the shout," said Stevenson, who had not kicked a ball in anger for Hughes until last weekend.

"I had a horrendous first touch, I almost set up a goal for them.

"But, looking back, I enjoyed the experience, the first time I've played at Ibrox."

Despite having been part of Hibs' squad since 2005 and starting almost 70 times, Stevenson had never featured in an away game against Rangers.

He added: "You try not to think about anything apart from doing your job on the pitch.

"You've got time after to look back and think how you did.

"I just try to keep focused on the game and try to do the job I'm supposed to."

Having stuck with the same starting line-up for the last three games, Hughes made a point of singling out the likes of Stevenson for praise.

And the defender was not about to rock the boat, adding: "I can take it on the chin, I can't complain, the team's being playing well.

"There's a lot of quality players who have been brought into the squad so you just have to realise sometimes you're not going to play and when you do get the chance you need to try to make the most of it."

Hibs' form means Stevenson may be waiting a little longer and he revealed the squad are determined not to follow up last weekend's result by flopping against Aberdeen.

"There's no point going to Ibrox and playing well and getting a point if you're going to get beaten in your home games," Stevenson said. "These are the games we've got win."

It is testament to the new-found ambition of third-placed Hibs that they walked off the field last weekend disappointed with a point.

"A lot of the boys thought we should have won the game," Stevenson said.

"We had a few chances and when you get chances at Ibrox you want to try to take them.

"I've been there in the past and if we got a point, we'd take that with both hands.

"It just shows the confidence in the team, that we're disappointed in just getting a point at Ibrox."

Hughes' relentless positive attitude is clearly rubbing off on his players and Stevenson admits there is more to the former Falkirk boss than meets the eye.

"I know a few of the boys at Falkirk and they're obviously telling me things," said Stevenson when asked if the colourful Hughes lived up to his billing.

"He's obviously had a positive effect on all the team and I don't think anybody will say a bad word about him."

Hibernian 21/20, Draw 9/4, Aberdeen 11/4  

Source: Team_Talk

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