Sunderland’s relegation spirit inspires Watmore for Hibs’ fight

Duncan Watmore in action for Hibs against Hearts. They meet again tomorrow
Duncan Watmore in action for Hibs against Hearts. They meet again tomorrow
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DUNCAN Watmore cannot escape the shadow of relegation.

While the Sunderland winger’s parent club remain embroiled in the thick of the dogfight at the wrong end of the Premier League table, his temporary employers have also sunk ominously down the pecking order.

A run of five successive defeats has left Hibernian, who signed Watmore on loan in January, flirting with the promotion/relegation play-offs in the bottom half of the SPL.

But the 19-year-old hopes he can take inspiration from the remarkable turnaround in Sunderland’s fortunes, to show that any poor run can be ended in an instant.

“It’s not a situation I’d have wanted to see at either club with both fighting to stay up,” said Watmore in midweek.

“But while I can only watch and hope Sunderland do so, I can play my part in helping Hibs get out of the spot of bother we are in.

“And what has happened at Sunderland shows just how quickly things can change in football. This time last week, I’d imagine almost everybody had them relegated, particularly with away games against Manchester City and Chelsea coming up.

“So to get four points against those two clubs was unbelievable. They’re right back in it and have given themselves a real good chance.

“Had it not been for that late goal City scored, it could have been six points from the two games, but I’m sure they’d have happily taken four beforehand.

“It’s difficult to say how they approached those two games. You could say they’d think they had nothing to lose, but at the same time they needed the results to keep their hopes of staying up alive, so there’s pressure in some respect.

“But it does show you what a team can do when they work together and stick at it.”

Terry Butcher’s Hibs, who face fierce rivals Hearts in the Edinburgh derby at Easter Road tomorrow, can boast just one win in 14 league games, with Watmore’s goal at Partick Thistle last month, the only time they have netted in the last six.

He added: “Hibs is a massive club with national coverage up here and rightly so.

“We all know what we need to do in the situation we find ourselves, that we need to get ourselves out of it and that it’s up to us players to do that. We know we are right in it, we have to get some wins. We are desperate to do so and we all believe we can do it.

“We’ll be treating each game with the importance it deserves and we are confident we can get the results as we are all pushing in the right direction.”

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