It's been billed as make-or-break for Hibs' season, but Nick Montgomery is adamant that's a mindset Hibs cannot be drawn into.

His side welcome Dundee to Easter Road on Saturday knowing that defeat would leave them eight points adrift of the Premiership top six with only seven matches remaining until the split. Hibs have not win in the league side edging out rock bottom Livingston on December 9, and Montgomery knows his team must make these crucial next few weeks count.

But the Hibs manager maintains that letting minds wander from anything other than the following 90 minutes is a perilous.

“That can be really dangerous," he insisted. "As a team and as a manager, we aren’t going to focus on two or three games ahead. It’s always about the next game and putting in full preparation, with the staff, knowing that we go in with a really well thought out game plan. Then it’s about the players executing it on the day.

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“But we’re at home a lot now, which is good. We’ve had a lot of tough away games, so to have a run of home games is something you look on as an advantage, especially with our crowd, who we know can really get behind the players.

“I hope we can fill the stadium between now and the end of the season. And make those home games count, with everyone getting behind the team.

“The last time we played Dundee at home, we had 25 opportunities on goal and still couldn’t break them down. They’re quite resilient, they defend well.

“But they’re also dangerous. So what we can’t do is change things to chase it. We have to go out there with a plan to win the game.

“This is the first full week of training we’ve had with everybody back, including Rocky Bushiri, who was back in full training this week after being away on international duty. So we’ve prepared really well. Now we have to perform."

As well as having Bushiri back from AFCON, Montgomery revealed keeper David Marshall has overcome the injury which forced him off in last weekend's 2-2 against Aberdeen. At Pittodrie, Hibs were again undone by what has become their achilles heel this season - defending set-pieces - for the Dons' first goal, and Montgomery accepts that it's a problem for which he must quickly find a solution. However, having finally been afforded some consistency in team selection in recent weeks, he's optimistic that will go a long way to improving defensive cohesion.

“We haven’t been great at defending set-pieces second phase," said Montgomery. "But that also coincided with a lot of players missing and having young players in the team. We’ve been working to make sure we stay in games, that we don’t give soft goals away, because we have a lot of quality in the team, and off the bench.

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“We’re a team that can score goals. The plan is always to score goals and keep clean sheets, but you have to do that as a team. I’ve played a lot of football in England and I know what the physicality is like up here.

“That’s something you have to deal with. With the players we have back, we have more height and experience at the back. It gives us a real opportunity to finish the season strongly.

“Sometimes you go through phases – we’ve been really good in phases, and had a phases where we’ve not been great [with set-pieces]. It’s something that we’ve worked on.

“What we need to do now is be hard to beat because we know we have players who can score goals – Martin Boyle is back and Myziane has been getting in the team, Marcondes, Elie Youan. These are players who can win you games.

“We’ve got a really good squad, and it’s taken a little bit of time for everybody to gel. I thought we’ve shown some good moments in the last few weeks, scoring goals. Now, we need to be solid and concentrate for 90 minutes – but that’s what every manager will tell you.”

Hibs announced on Friday that loanee defender Owen Bevan had returned to Bournemouth without kicking a ball in Scotland, having suffered a setback in his recovery from a previous injury. However, with Bournemouth owner Bill Foley's investment in Hibs expected to be ratified in the near future, Montgomery is not ruling out bringing Bevan back in the future.

"He’s a player we’re definitely keen on bringing to the club," said the manager. "So we’ll just monitor that situation. Hopefully he can get himself fit from that injury towards the end of the season. We’ll definitely keep an eye on that situation."