Hibs boss challenges loan stars to become legends

Pat Fenlon

Pat Fenlon

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HIBS boss Pat Fenlon believes his loan stars could become legends if they lift the Scottish Cup this season.

The Irishman brought seven players to Easter Road in January, most on deals that keep them at the club until the end of the current campaign.

James McPake, Tom Soares, Jorge Claros, Matt Doherty, George Francomb and Roy O’Donovan were all added to the Hibs ranks at the beginning of the year while, at the same time, Leigh Griffiths was handed an extension to his loan deal from Wolves.

The majority of them are expected to be involved tomorrow lunchtime when Hibs take on Aberdeen in the semi- finals with a place against either Celtic or Hearts awaiting the winners in the showpiece final in May.

Although for some of them their stay in Edinburgh will prove to be fairly short, Fenlon conceded that the impact those players have on the club could be remembered for a long time to come.

Hibs haven’t won the competition since 1902 and Fenlon knows his side could go down in the history books if they finally end their cup drought.

He said: “There is probably a bigger prize on offer for Hibs than anyone else, purely because they haven’t won it for so long. It means more.

“The drive to reach out and make the Cup Final is fantastic.

“And, if these guys go and win it, they can always come back here and be treated decently forever.

“It’s a massive incentive for everybody.”

Now that he and his players have had a taste of the build-up to this type of occasion, Fenlon is keen for his players to build on their experience and make sure that Hibs are involved on the big stage more often.

He continued: “I think Hibs should be in this sort of a game more often. “It’s a big club with a lot of history and tradition. We should be competing in cup finals on a regular basis – whether that’s the League Cup or Scottish Cup.

“The plan is to reach more semi-finals and finals. That’s the target, to get the club back to where we think we should be,” Fenlon went on.

“Aberdeen are similar, a club with fantastic history, and they’ll feel that they need to get back to where they belong.

“I know the people in charge there will feel that strongly, that Aberdeen deserve to be at a higher level.

“Just like with us, though, you only get that by working hard and showing that you deserve it. It doesn’t happen just because you are Hibs or Aberdeen.

“You have to be competitive enough to reach that level consistently.”