PAT Fenlon today set his sights on Hampden, claiming Hibs can go all the way in the Scottish Communities League Cup.
The Easter Road outfit kick off their bid to revisit the scene of their Scottish Cup mauling by Capital rivals Hearts just three months ago by first travelling to take on Queen of the South at Palmerston Park tonight. But while admitting his side face a tough task against the Dumfries club which has yet to concede a goal in four Second Division matches so far this season, Fenlon revealed he’s looking much further ahead.
He boldly stated: “It’s a competition we firmly believe we can win and that’s what we are going to try to do, make progress through the rounds. You need a little bit of luck on the way and it’s a bit of a tough start for us as we have seen enough of them to realise they are a decent enough side.”
Although Hibs have been posed problems in recent seasons by teams from the lower divisions, Fenlon believes his own players go into this game full of confidence themselves having gone second top of the SPL table following their weekend win over St Johnstone. He has, however, again underlined the dangers of complacency saying: “We’ve spoken about making sure our approach, attitude and application is right and in fairness to the players Saturday was the first time we have dropped off a bit.
“Confidence is good, the boys are looking forward to playing football matches and that’s what we wanted to do, to get people confident and enjoying playing again. We’ve got a good crowd in there, the right type of characters.
“There will be parts of the season that go against you but rather than buckle and fall you have to be able to deal with it and that’s the type we’ve brought in, you don’t get too carried away winning and don’t get too disappointed if you lose.”
Evidence of that strength of character came at half-time on Saturday when, despite leading through Paul Hanlon’s goal, Fenlon’s side had turned in a below-par performance, the manager arriving in the dressing-room to find his players already voicing their opinions as to where they’d been going wrong.
He smiled: “Dressing-rooms I have been in are like that, strong characters with a
will to win. You have to control it, make sure it’s channelled in the right direction but it shows a desire and willingness to
win. I will take that all day long rather than just coming in, sitting down and saying nothing.
“Sometimes when you analyse things you can analyse it too much and that can affect the players. When it goes wrong you try to work on the mistakes but not overstating it.
“Here there’s been a couple of seasons of the players being constantly hammered – now they’ve had a bit of success in that they have won a couple of matches. But that’s what it should be at this club. We should be winning matches on a regular basis.”
As Fenlon continues his hunt for further new signings with the countdown to the transfer window closing well underway, the Hibs boss admitted
cup success can help in that regard.
He said: “The big plus we took out of getting to the [Scottish Cup] final was the financial end of it rather than anything else.
“It was a big help to the club and to go on a run again helps financially for everyone at the club and in relation to my own end it’s extra revenue so it’s
important we progress through the rounds.”
• Fenlon intends to make a limited number of changes for tonight’s match in Dumfries, revealing he will leave one or two of those who have featured from the beginning of the season, although he’ll keep their identity to himself until he names his team. However, definitely on the sidelines are midfielders Lewis
Stevenson and Danny Galbraith, who have missed the last few matches but are both on the road to recovery