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Stanton: Survival? Time for talking has long since passed

The Hibernian legend Pat Stanton has urged players at Easter Road to stop feeling sorry for themselves and come to terms with the scale of the task they face in pulling the club back from the brink of relegation.

Stanton has looked on in disbelief as the team he supports and oncecaptained has been drawn deeper into the mire this season.

Having won just once in their last 19 games, Terry Butcher's morale-sapped side must now muster an aggregate victory over two legs against a buoyant Hamilton Academical to secure their top-flight status.

Confident noises continued to emanate from Hibs as they slipped dangerously down the table as the season wore on but successive chances were passed up until 11th spot was finally confirmed in a desperate last-day decider with Kilmarnock.

But Stanton insists the time for talking is long since passed and he has called on Liam Craig and his team-mates to produce the urgent action required to prevent the club slipping into a daunting-looking Championship tussle with city rivals Hearts and Rangers.

He said: "When you consider the way things have gone, they've still got two games to put things right. They could easily have been sitting already out of it. But they've still got their chance and it's up to them to take it. Instead of talking about it, just do it.

"In situations like this, it can be difficult, but the last thing you do is feel sorry for yourselves. You're in it and there's only one group of people can do anything about it, and that's you, the team. The manager can only say so much in these situations. The players have to say to themselves 'we've got to get out of this' and just give 110% in these games.

"All the plans that have been drawn up with the new chief executive and so on are designed to move the club on a wee bit, but that all hinges on what happens this week.

"It's all come down to that, and if you think of the consequences . . . I think you try your best not to think of the consequences. You think 'it will be all right in the end'. I saw players commenting a few weeks back, 'we'll be all right'. Well, no, you'll not.

"You've got to go out there and make it happen. You can't stand about feeling sorry for yourself and thinking 'oh, here we go again'. You'll have games where you go a goal down. So what? You just have to get on with it. There's a lot to play for - I think that's a bit of an understatement here - and that goes for Hamilton as well. There's a lot for them and a lot for us.

"The time for talking's long past. It's the time for people to stand up and be counted. Things don't have to go against you, and they will go against you at times.

Butcher's side have, meanwhile, been training on Spartans' artificial surface in a bid to ready themselves for tomorrow night's task.

Hibs also have an 'astroturf' pitch at their East Mains training centre but Butcher instead been planning for tomorrow's daunting trip to Lanarkshire with sessions on Ainslie Park in a bid to ensure they are primed for the unfamiliarity of Hamilton's New Douglas Park.

He said: "Spartans have a newer version and it was important we play on a surface that resembles those at Hamilton and Falkirk. Spartans have been brilliant and it's been good to come out of our natural comfort zone to train somewhere else."

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