Hibernian: John McGinn says Scottish Premiership new boys already good enough for a top-six finish

John McGinn and David Gray with the Scottish Championship trophy
John McGinn helped Hibernian return to the Scottish Premiership after three years in the second tier

John McGinn believes Hibernian are already strong enough to secure a top-six Premiership place next season.

Hibs earned promotion back to Scotland's top tier at the third time of asking this campaign.

And although the PFA's Championship player of the year hopes boss Neil Lennon will augment his squad, he says the current crop are top-six material.

"If we keep the same bunch together, I'm sure we'll be more than capable of competing in the top half," he said.

"Hopefully the boys that are out of contract can get signed up, and the manager and board can add some quality as well to try and make us more equipped for the top flight."

During their three-year absence from the Premiership, Hibs have overcome numerous top-flight opponents in cup competitions, including rivals Hearts, Aberdeen, St Johnstone and Ross County.

Last season, the Easter Road side sensationally ended a 114-year wait to lift the Scottish Cup, and fell narrowly short of reaching the final again this year, when they were edged in the last four by the high-flying Dons.

John McGinn of Hibernian is challenged by Aberdeen's Graeme Shinnie
Hibs lost 3-2 to Aberdeen in a pulsating Scottish Cup semi-final

While a host of first-team players - including captain David Gray - are out of contract, or have loan deals expiring, Lennon has said he expects the majority to sign new terms, and has acquired St Johnstone midfielder Danny Swanson on a pre-contract.

"I think we've proven in cup competitions over the past couple of seasons that we're more than a match for the Premiership opposition we've come up against," McGinn added.

"So if we keep the core of the squad together and add to that with a bit of quality, like we already have done, then I'm sure we can challenge in the top half of the table, and I'm sure no team will want to face us.

"I think it proves the quality we've got in the dressing room that we were bitterly disappointed to lose by a single goal to a top-class Aberdeen team.

"I think that proves we're more than capable of competing at the top end of the Scottish game - we've got the ability and personality to compete with the best teams in the country and that gives us confidence going into the next season."

McGinn, 22, was the fulcrum of the Hibs midfield that lifted the cup, and went on to seal promotion, and earned his Scotland honours while still a Championship player.

Danny Swanson celebrates scoring for St Johnstone
Neil Lennon has signed St Johnstone midfielder Danny Swanson on a pre-contract

He has two years left on his Easter Road contract and, while he anticipates summer interest from other clubs, is eager to view any speculation as plaudits for his performances.

"I'm looking forward to getting back for pre-season and seeing where it takes me," McGinn said.

"There will be interest from elsewhere if you're doing well, and I feel I am doing well at the minute, so I just need to take that in my stride, take it as a compliment and try and improve all the time.

"I'm a bit more used to speculation now. I think it's a good thing, I think it means you're doing something right and it's always nice hearing managers saying nice things about you.

"But you just need to try and keep the head down, don't let it get to your head or it'll mean nothing. That's what I'm trying to do at the minute and I hope the nice things keep coming my way."

Top Stories