Hibernian need to recapture their own self-belief that no matter how things appear to be going against them, they can win through - that was the view from goalkeeper Graeme Stack after his side had lost valuable league points for a second week in succession through conceding a late goal. While conceding that crucial decisions have gone against his side in both these games, Stack was not prepared to point the finger at refereeing choices being the sole cause of lost opportunities for the club.
There is of course no doubt that discussions at the Hibernian Training Centre today will touch on those decisions, few in the stadium had expected anything other than a red card being shown just two minutes in when Colin Nish found himself clear on goal only to be unceremoniously brought to the ground by Saints goalkeeper Graeme Smith. While not wishing to focus on that decision Stack had to confess that had the roles been reversed he would certainly have expected to see red: "100% I think I'm off in that situation. As a goalkeeper if you make contact with a player and not the ball in the box, the chances are it is a goal scoring opportunity and so early on it would have affected the game massively - look at us last week when we had to play for 60 minutes with ten men and how hard it was.
"Now if they had ten men for the best part of 90 minutes then believe you and me they would have struggled, but it didn't go our way and now we have been unfortunate to lose two last goals in the last two games and it has cost us four points. So we need to install the belief into the side again that we can hang on and see out the games, we have had things go for us this season, getting penalties, late goals and decisions going for us and I do think that they even themselves out over the season - but we are maybe due a bit of luck after Saturday." It was another penalty decision that was the undoing of Hibernian's bid for three points, and while that one remains controversial in the eyes of most observers Stack agreed with his manager and the player involved, Liam Miller, in that it was a more understandable call from the match official.
The goalkeeper said: "To be fair during the game I thought the penalty decision was harsh but having seen it again his hands were high, and although I genuinely think it was ball to hand I can see why he has given it. These decisions go for you and against you and I think throughout the season so far we have had our fair share of luck, in recent weeks I would have to say it has gone against us. Now we have dropped from third place in the table - it is the first thing I look at when I come in because you want to see where you are in the table. We will see how they get on now, everyone will be talking about Dundee United and there will be plenty to write about them and how well they are doing and how bad we have been in recent weeks, but in fairness we have give the press that ammunition because we have been poor recently.
"In the last couple of games I don't think we have been as bad, at Motherwell we worked our socks off and were unfortunate not to win the game and on Saturday we should have seen the game out because we have enough experience with Murray, Bamba, Riordan, Nish and Hogg. We would have liked to have seen the game out and then it is a completely different scenario, we are still third and had the opportunity to build up a run, getting back to winnings ways which installs a belief. But the longer you go without winning a game - and I have played with Leeds when we were relegated despite being on paper magnificent - when you get in that rut of not winning games, it can be hard to get out of."
Even during the better times this season more experienced players such as Stack were warning that harder times were likely just around the corner, and over the last couple of weeks that has certainly been on show for Hibernian. The point on Saturday at least arrested a run of defeats and the destiny of the side this season still remains very much in their own hands, but the irony of the situation facing the side is certainly not lost on the goalkeeper or his team-mates: "Two weeks ago the chat was about how we could get into the Champions League and could we break the top two - but that is how quickly things change in football, now people will be asking can we finish in third because we are fourth.
"Motherwell are just behind us and Hearts are closing in but I would like to think they wont catch us. The plan at the weekend was obviously to get back to winning ways and there was a lot of punters in the stadium with the send off for the old stand, it would have been a nice send off to win the game, but it wasn't to be and we need to look ahead to next week. Kilmarnock at home is a game that I genuinely believe we should win, it is going to be tough and it is going to be a battle but we should win all three points."