John McGinn today insisted Hibs’ hopes of holding on to the Scottish Cup remain high, claiming that in semi-finals and finals: “It’s anyone’s on the day.”
The holders went into the draw for the last four as the only remaining Championship side in the competition and were paired with Aberdeen.
However, Scotland midfielder McGinn believes Hibs’ record against Premiership clubs means they were the team no-one wanted to play.
In the past two seasons, the Edinburgh outfit have played 11 matches against top-flight clubs, including the Dons, and lost only one – last year’s League Cup final to Ross County – and already have again knocked Capital rivals Hearts out of this term’s competition.
And that, insisted, McGinn, whose goal set Hibs on their way to a 3-1 quarter-final victory over Ayr United on Saturday, will have the alarm bells ringing, especially after he and his team-mates smashed the club’s 114-year cup hoodoo.
He said: “I think everyone knows what we are capable of and going into the draw I don’t think anyone would have been over the moon to get us. On our day, we are a top team and they won’t enjoy playing against us and we’ll make sure that’s the case.
“In semis and finals it’s anyone’s on the day. We know if we turn up and are on it then we are capable of causing an upset.
“Winning the cup (last season) means the supporters can relax. They aren’t continually reminded about it and they can go into a Scottish Cup day and enjoy it a bit more. There’s not that same pressure, no hoodoo. It’s been brilliant for the club.”
However, as McGinn pointed out, Neil Lennon’s players have seven Championship matches, starting with Friday night’s visit to their closest title rivals Dundee United, to play before the weekend of the Scottish Cup semi-finals at Hampden on April 22-23 where Celtic will meet Old Firm rivals Rangers in the other tie.
Although Hibs hold a six-point lead at the top of the table, they’ve managed to pick up just three points from their last four league games against side in the bottom half and McGinn admitted they can only look forward to that weekend if results improve in the interim.
The 22-year-old said: “It won’t be exciting if we lose the gap in the league but we know if we keep winning our games we will be champions so we need to do that.
“We have to put the cup to one side. We’re delighted to get to the semis, but it’s a bonus. If we don’t get promoted we will be failures again, so that would be nothing to be proud of. It’s important this club is riding high in Scottish football. There’s huge potential, so it is imperative we get up. For this club to prosper we need to be in the top flight, and if we do not we’ll have failed again.”