TWO-nil is routinely described as the most dangerous lead in football, but in Hibernian's case beggars can't be choosers.
So desperate has their recent form been that any advantage at all must be considered a blessing. While a couple of excellent Jason Cummings strikes have given the Easter Road side limited breathing room ahead of today's second leg clash against Hamilton Accies in Edinburgh, confidence and coherence clearly remain uncertain commodities. Any body language experts who happened to be in Lanarkshire in midweek would have had a field day assessing the group dynamics of a squad which will be scattered to the wind no matter what division they end up in.
It was somehow fitting that Scott Robertson, the former Dundee and Dundee United midfielder, gave a rather sober version of events when asked to assess the current state of play from a Hibernian perspective. "On the evidence of Wednesday you'd struggle to tell which team was Premiership and who was top end of the Championship," said Robertson. " They passed the ball well and outnumbered us in midfield in the first half. We won't approach this game any differently; when you're leading 2-0 in the tie it's a funny scoreline because the next goal is crucial."
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Robertson is in the swollen category of figures at the club - including many senior players, not to mention manager Terry Butcher - who are waiting to see what their future holds. He has 12 months of his deal remaining and would love to see them out, but whether he is given that chance is anyone's guess.
Robertson said: "I love the club and we've got the potential to turn it round quickly. But whether I'm part of that is down to the people in charge. We'll see in a couple of weeks what the future holds."
One thing that is certain in the shifting sands of Hibs right now is that Cummings, who not so long ago was washing around in amateur football after being released by Hearts, is a player of serious potential. It may have been his first Hibs' goals, in his 17th appearance, but this was a hugely impressive performance from a young man in a match of this magnitude. Robertson was delighted, not least because he recalls being taken out of the firing line as a teenager by Jim Duffy for a relegation dogfight at Dundee back in 2005 before watching his boyhood heroes succumb to their fate
Robertson, who earned full Scotland honours under Craig Levein, said: "It was very brave of the manager to trust Jason in a game like Wednesday night. I was at Dundee when we got relegated on the last day against Livingston and I was told the game was too big with the pressure and what was riding on it. But I felt ready because you're fearless as a youngster. I wanted to play every minute of every game and I wanted to help keep them up as I'd supported them as a boy."
Few players in the Hamilton line-up will arrive in Leith with more to prove than Mickael Antoine-Curier. Approximately seven years ago, the Guadeloupe international striker moved to Easter Road from Norwegian football, John Collins snapping him up from FK Haugesund at a time when even Arsene Wenger was said to be monitoring his progress. But his big move to UK football didn't pan out as planned. Collins left soon afterwards, and Antoine-Curier's face didn't fit under Mixu Paatelainen, so he headed up the road to Dundee.
"I didn't get a chance to score goals at Hibs," said Antoine-Curier. "But I had a great time in Dundee. And in my first game with Hamilton in the Premiership I played against Hibs and scored. But that is in the past now."
The three goals Hamilton require is equal to the amount Antoine-Curier managed in his 13 games as a Hibs player, but it is not in his nature to be defeatist. Whatever happens today, he feels he can do a job in the top-flight again at the age of 31. "I never doubt myself," he said. "And we never doubted Hibs. They are the Premiership team and we are the Championship team, so we had to give them respect. But afterwards it is not respect, it is a war game. They won the first battle. Now we need to win the second one."