Hibernians have failed to strengthen their title aspirations after back-to-back defeats but their striker Andrew Cohen believes that their loss of form is only temporary.
"Apart from the absence of some key players because of injuries, it's crystal clear that we are passing through a bad patch," Cohen told The Times.
"Last season, we suffered a similar slump in the first round of the Championship Pool and this term, it has happened a little earlier. I hope that when real business begins at the start of the second phase, Hibs will be back to top form."
Cohen was straightforward in analysing what went wrong for his side in the last two matches.
"First, I don't think that our 2-0 loss to Birkirkara had an adverse effect on our morale for the game against Valletta," the 24-year-old Malta forward stressed.
"Valletta were the better team on the day. They were aggressive and very disciplined. We had more possession but we were largely ineffective.
"Most of the Hibs players have not been at their best. I don't want to point fingers at no-one because I'm the first to say that my current form is below my best.
"It looks as if Mario Muscat, our goalkeeper, is the only Hibs player in form at this moment in time."
Despite Hibs' failure to maintain the pace with Birkirkara, now six points ahead of them but having played a game more, Cohen is still upbeat about their title chances.
"If we collect six points from our next two matches, we will stay very much in contention for the league championship," Cohen said.
"We can still challenge for the title, I have no doubt about that. The only thing that bothers me is that we had the chance to pull clear of the other contenders but two bad results have thrown us behind them.
"On paper, Birkirkara look favourites but the title can be won by any of the top teams, Marsaxlokk included," Cohen, voted MFA Player of the Year last season, concluded.
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