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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007, 17:50 GMT
Collins expected Hibs' form dip
Hibernian manager John Collins
Collins has not had much to smile about in recent weeks
Manager John Collins believes Hibernian can recover from a slump in form and push on for a European spot.

The Easter Road side lie fourth in the SPL despite winning just one of their last seven matches.

"Of course, you get dips," said Collins. "Every team in the league has had their good periods and not so good periods - and we're no different.

"We had such a great run at the start which has put us in a good position to be able to absorb the bad run."

Hibs have suffered back-to-back away defeats at Aberdeen and Inverness to sit 10 points behind league leaders Celtic.

But a host of clubs have narrowed the gap in a congested mid-table area, with 10th placed Kilmarnock 10 points behind the Edinburgh side.

"We're still not far off the top and a few wins will pick us right back up again," said Collins.

"I think there will be a battle for third place and I think Celtic and Rangers are going to drop points as well. It's been proved already."

Hibs entertain Falkirk on Saturday before festive trips to Celtic and Kilmarnock and a home game with Rangers.

"It's nice to get back to home soil," added Collins.

"We've had two tough games away from home, never easy places to go and it was disappointing not to pick anything up.

"We didn't deserve anything at Aberdeen, but we certainly deserved something last week as the performance was much better.

"It wasn't to be and hopefully it's back to winning ways on Saturday, that's the plan.

"But Falkirk are doing well just now and it's never easy against them."

Club captain Rob Jones is expected to be back in defence after missing the last two matches with a groin injury.


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