Sproule says cup win can lift Hibs

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Ivan SPROULE today stressed how important reaching the Scottish Communities League Cup quarter-final could be to Hibs, insisting progress in the competition tonight at Motherwell would lift the mood among the club’s support.

Ivan SPROULE today stressed how important reaching the Scottish Communities League Cup quarter-final could be to Hibs, insisting progress in the competition tonight at Motherwell would lift the mood among the club’s support.

The Northern Irish winger, who played a key part as Hibs won the competition in 2007, believes a strong team spirit could prove vital to the Easter Road men’s chances of reaching the last-eight this evening.

He said: “For the likes of Motherwell, Hibs, Aberdeen, even Hearts, they’ve got to be going for the cups. There’s one thing the fans will love you for, and that’s taking them to Hampden and giving them a big day out. If you can get the win and get your hands on the trophy it’s even more special.

“There’s a great spirit in that changing room. There’s a great bunch of young lads in there that want to progress and build themselves reputations. The way they’re going to do that is by giving the fans highlights. This could be the team that will go on again and win a cup, and that would be fantastic.” Hibs welcome back Ian Murray to their squad for tonight’s third-round clash at Fir Park after he missed the weekend trip to Dunfermline due to a back injury. Sproule, who scored in Fife on Saturday, says his team-mates can take heart from their performance in that game, despite throwing away a 2-0 lead to draw.

“You take confidence,” said Sproule, 30. “We scored two goals and had a few other chances. We weren’t happy when it went to 2-1, we crumbled a bit, we know that. But maybe that’s just because we’re in the position that we’re in, and when we’re on a high and something happens to us like that it can maybe deflate us a bit quicker. It’s something that we’re going to have to get right.

“We’ve had a difficult start to the season, but we can kick on. There’s enough confidence to know that we can. Take a look at the points that we’ve lost – we should have won more. We believe that, when we get it right and cut out the mistakes, we can be a force as well as the rest of them.”