Alan Stubbs has tipped Jason Cummings to upstage hot-shots Dominique Malonga and Liam Buchanan to grab a bit of Scottish Cup glory for himself.
Hibs hitman Malonga took his tally for the season to nine in just 11 games with a hat-trick against Dumbarton while Alloa striker Buchanan created a new club record by scoring for the seventh consecutive match as the Wasps lost to Falkirk.
But while most fans will be looking to that pair for goals in tomorrow’s fourth-round tie at the Indodrill Stadium, boss Stubbs insisted that Cummings, who netted the opener as Hibs lost to Alloa earlier in the season, should not be overlooked.
Asked if he thought the outcome of the match could be decided by which of the two clubs’ leading scorers takes his chances, Stubbs replied: “I would say there are three because I think Jason is on a decent run of form. He’s maybe not scored as many goals but I thought his performance last week was very good.”
Even so, Alloa boss Barry Smith will undoubtedly have marked Malonga down as the one to watch, just as Stubbs has in the case of Buchanan, the Hibs head coach saying: “He’s scored seven in seven so we know we are going to have to be on our guard to keep him quiet.
“He’s a Hibs fan but that won’t make any difference.”
Although Stubbs believes his side – eight games unbeaten in the Championship – are practically unrecognisable compared to the team which lost in Clackmannanshire at the end of August, he insisted tomorrow’s task remains a tricky one.
He said: “We were disappointed with the Alloa game. We did not perform as well as we would have liked.
“Now we look a different team but I don’t want to be saying that and come tomorrow we don’t perform.
“It’s not to say we will be better prepared because we were prepared last time.
“We know exactly what is in front of us, we know it is going to be a very tough game. They are well organised and have had some good results over the season, going to Ibrox and drawing and Hearts only scoring in the last couple of minutes against them.
“So we are under no illusions, we won’t be going there thinking we are a different team now. We’ve focused on them this week and done a bit of work on them in training.”
Stubbs played down the fact Alloa’s ground boasts a widely-unpopular plastic pitch, one on which striker Farid El Alagui suffered a ruptured achilles tendon which has put him out of action until the new year.
Unable to say whether the artificial pitch was a factor in El Alagui’s injury, he said: “It’s not my favourite choice of surface, but it’s there and we have to get on with it because it is not going to go away.
“The main thing is being in the hat for the next round. There are five games in which Premiership sides are facing each other; Hearts are playing Celtic and Kilmarnock play Rangers so there’s a lot of big clashes which will see some good clubs eliminated. Our focus is purely on our game with Alloa and then we will see where that takes us.”
Meanwhile, Hibs have revealed ten of the special Remembrance Day shirts worn against Queen of the South raised £2600 for Help for Heroes in an online auction, with the remaining jerseys now up for sale.