MATT DOHERTY reckons the Hibs players have a double incentive to rack up victory over Motherwell in the SPL this weekend.
The Irishman knows that a win against Stuart McCall’s side would not only keep Dunfermline at bay in the battle against the drop, but would also see those involved stake a claim for a place in Pat Fenlon’s team for the Scottish Cup semi-final.
The Easter Road side again play 24 hours later than SPL relegation favourites Dunfermline, but Doherty is hoping to come out the other side of the weekend with at least their six-point gap still intact.
And with their game against Aberdeen in the last four of the national cup competition just eight days away, Doherty is well aware that a good performance on Sunday could secure a spot in the starting XI at Hampden.
The defender said: “The manager has not really had the chance to put the same team out every week, so there are definitely places up for grabs, and I think that the game against Motherwell is the perfect opportunity for the guys who are picked to cement their place in the side for the cup game.
“If we play well against Motherwell and win the game, then you have got a good chance of being involved the following week.
“Obviously it’s up to the manager – he picks the team – but you want to give yourself every chance possible.
“Everyone wants to be involved right now because there’s such a lot at stake for the club.”
Although there are still 18 points to be played for, Doherty thinks his side gave themselves some breathing space with last weekend’s victory in Inverness.
However, he knows that one slip could haul them right back into the melting pot, and added: “If the results go Dunfermline’s way, the pressure will be straight back on us.”