October 6, 2012
Hanlon enjoying life at Hibs
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.4||0.6|
|Goals against *||1.2||1.7|
|Last 5 home||W-D-D-L-D||L-D-W-L-D|
|Last 5 away||W-W-L-L-D||L-W-W-D-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Hibernian | Dundee|
Hibernian defender Paul Hanlon feels the atmosphere on and off the pitch at Easter Road has improved as Pat Fenlon's side bid to continue their unbeaten home record against Dundee.
Hibs have won two and drawn two in Edinburgh this season as Fenlon makes a conscious effort to turn their home stadium into an intimidating venue.
Clydesdale Bank Premier League bottom club Dundee visit Leith on Saturday and Hanlon has set his sights on beating last season's home wins tally - Hibs only won their second SPL game at Easter Road when they beat Dunfermline in May to secure their top-flight place.
Hanlon said: "We got a disappointing result at Aberdeen so we want to keep our unbeaten home form going and send the fans home happy from Easter Road as they have been most times this season.
"Our home form last year was terrible but we have matched that already and it's only October, and hopefully we will go one better on Saturday and get our third win at home.
"At times last season we were nervous playing at home but this year we have started well and it shows, when we lost a two-goal lead at home to Inverness we got the draw, but the fans were still there clapping us off the pitch and it was brilliant to see that.''
Hanlon admitted the home record last term was a vicious cycle.
"I think it's just a pressure thing,'' Hanlon said.
"At the time we were under pressure and boys do things you maybe wouldn't do when you're full of confidence.
"So hopefully we can keep that home form going.
"I don't think the supporters were expecting miracles straight away, but we're improving and if we keep improving throughout the season, we'll be in a good position at the end.''
Fenlon continued his drive to engage with the home support by delivering a message to Hibs fans to keep backing the players.
"We want to make it difficult for teams here, so it's important we bounce back with a victory,'' he said.
"I said at the start it would take time. There are still little things we are trying to improve.
"The supporters have been fantastic in the home games. When we did come under the cosh in some of the games, they recognised that and got behind us.''
Dundee manager Barry Smith believes his players will be motivated by their determination to improve on their derby defeat by St Johnstone when they take on Hibernian.
Dundee remained rooted to the bottom of the table after going down 3-1 to St Johnstone at Dens Park last weekend, a defeat which left them four points behind city rivals Dundee United.
The SPL new boys now head for the capital to take on Pat Fenlon's men looking for only their second league win of the new campaign - the other was across Edinburgh against Hearts.
And Smith is convinced they will have a big point to prove.
The Dundee boss said: "They will be motivated for sure for the Hibs game.
"The boys weren't happy with the performance against St Johnstone and I would be expecting a massive reaction for Saturday.
"No-one likes getting beat but it makes it worse when there's such a below-par display which we're all aware of.
"We've got a good dressing room of honest professionals and they know they fell way short of our standards against St Johnstone.
"The training has been good this week so I'd expect them to be right at it come kick-off at Easter Road.''
Smith admits their selection problems in defence have not helped on their return to the top flight but is refusing to make excuses.
He said: "We've not had a settled back four. That has been a big factor.
"When I come to think of it, we've not played the same back four twice and it doesn't make it easy when you're coming up against teams who do have continuity.
"But I still think it's about the team and it's not an excuse by any means.
"I'm not just having a go at defenders. It's the team as a whole who can do better and we're confident that can be the case.
"I've got a good dressing room. I've always known that, so it's about getting the reaction which will hopefully see us getting a positive result at Hibs.''