Hanlon wants top-six finish

Hibernian defender Paul Hanlon admits he is worried about the club's recent form - but not their top-six chances.

The Easter Road outfit have won just two out of their past 11 Scottish Premier League and Scottish Cup matches amid an alarming drop in standard.

That ghastly run has also resulted in a concerning fall from a standpoint in second place, where they looked set to mount a challenge to SPL leaders Celtic, to their current position in fifth, where they now need to fear dropping out of the top half of the table altogether.

Monday night's 3-1 home defeat to St Johnstone leaves them just four points above city rivals Hearts in 10th place and just one better off than a three-team bunch that includes Kilmarnock, Dundee United and Aberdeen in the top-flight's tightly-packed midfield.

Hanlon admits to fears about their form but believes the congested nature of the standings may yet save their hopes of once again reaching loftier heights.

The defender told Press Association Sport: "It's concerning because we are not on a good run of results.

"But on the plus side we are not far away, we're still in the mix, and if we can go on a good run of results like we did at the start of the season, then we can be right back up there again.

"If the league wasn't as tight as it is, the run we're on would have put us right down the bottom end and we'd be out of it.

"But we can take confidence from that fact and if we can pick our game up in the next couple of weeks, we still have a chance of being back up at the top end of the table."

Hanlon and his team-mates were rebuked by boss Pat Fenlon for not performing to their best in the defeat by Steve Lomas' Perth men earlier this week.

But the 23-year-old centre-back insisted it was the players' own self-imposed criticisms which ensured the result was no laughing matter.

Now the former Scotland Under-21 cap insists a few wrongs must be righted when the team face St Mirren in Paisley on Saturday.

He said: "There was a few of the dressing-room jokers who came in and tried to lift the spirits when we came back to training. But it didn't work.

"When the boys came in the place was a bit low. Everyone was disappointed. We let everyone down.

"We'd all have preferred the St Mirren game was the next day so we could try and put it right.

"No-one knows why these results happen - if you did you could put it right. Everyone has bad days and we did on Monday.

"There are good teams in this league and if you don't turn up on any given day, you will end up being punished."