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Byline: David Rinaldi

There's been little cheer down Easter Road way in the SPL this term but young Hibs defender Paul Hanlon is determined to take the positives out of their long-running battle to beat the drop.

And the Scotland Under-21 skipper believes the trials and tribulations of being involved in a relegation dogfight will make him a better footballer in the long run.

The 22-year-old said: "It has certainly been a learning curve.

"But hopefully by the end of the season we'll be safe and I can look back in a few years' time and say 'that experience made me a better player'.

"It has been a tough few seasons, especially this one, and I'd like to think I've matured because of it.

"There's no room for passengers and we've all had to stand up and be counted and fight for each other.

"It's tough being down there and you're under pressure every week. I'm trying to learn as much as I can from playing every week and if this makes me stronger as a person and as a player then it should stand me in good stead for the future."

Hibs will hope to take a massive leap towards safety today by bagging three points at St Mirren.

And Hanlon said: "We got a result in Paisley earlier this season and now we need to do it again.

"We want to get our SPL future secured but there's no point just talking about it.

"We have to do it on the pitch and get the points we need to be safe.

"We lost 1-0 to Killie last week but we played well. Hopefully we can put in another good performance but get our rewards this time."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 29, 2012
Next Article:Saints have Good reason to fight for every point in SPL; ST MIRREN v HIBS Today, kick-off 3.15pm.

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