Date: 16th November 2006 at 3:52pm
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John Collins’s arrival at Easter Road has increases Hibs’ expectations, according to winger Ivan Sproule.

The 25-year-old Northern Ireland international has said that Hibernian are aiming for second-place and anything but a win will not be good enough against Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday (Nov 18).

With everyone except Celtic failing to show consistency, and Hibs just three points off second-placed Rangers, the dream of Champions League football at Easter Road is not completely ludicrous.

Sproule told the Daily Record: ‘Motherwell on Saturday is our first away game since John came in. There is a fair bit of confidence among us now and we will be looking to pick up three points. A draw is not really any good to us now. Players must have the motivation to string together several wins on the bounce to lift the team up the table.

‘Nobody seems to be stringing together results. Everyone seems to be inconsistent so if we can find a bit of consistency that would be great. Everyone is talking about second position and I am sure ourselves, Rangers, Hearts and Aberdeen will be looking at it.’

Confident words and, with both Hearts and Rangers struggling, the race for places below Celtic is more open than it has been for a long time this season. However, it remains to be seen whether Collins will be able to retain his top players for the second-half of the season (see here).

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