Hibs striker Leigh Griffiths today revealed that being rested for the William Hill Scottish Cup final is the last thing on his mind – especially when he has the chance to score against Capital rivals Hearts and net a landmark 30 goals for the Easter Road club.
Griffiths has been in outstanding form for Pat Fenlon’s team, the on-loan Wolves ace having scored 27 goals in a season which has seen Hibs make the Scottish Cup final for the second year in succession – and in no small part thanks to Griffiths’ five goals in the competition.
With that May 26 Hampden clash with Celtic very much in the mind of Hibs fans and indeed manager Fenlon, who has rotated his squad in recent weeks to let some stake their place for a final berth and others the chance to recover from injuries, Griffiths has been an ever-present in the green- and-white ranks. The decision to shuffle the squad for Fenlon has been made even easier due to the fact that Hibs are in the bottom six of the Clydesdale Bank SPL and, barring prize money, have relatively little to play for.
However, with derby bragging rights at stake and the chance to go a whole season without losing to Hearts, Griffiths insists that being left on the sidelines is not an option for him.
The 22-year-old hitman said: “I want to play. I’ve only missed one game all season and want to play in every one of our last four matches.
“The manager has been resting up some of the boys over the past couple of weeks with the final in mind, but he hasn’t spoken to me. It is his decision, of course, and if he wants to give me a rest it will be up to him, but if it’s this Sunday, then I’ll be pleading with him to play.”
Griffiths, who has already scored once against the Jambos, his strike in the opening derby earning Hibs a point, added: “I want to hit that target of 30 goals and obviously I’d love to take a step closer to it by getting another one at Tynecastle.”