ALAN STUBBS today declared himself “very happy” to see Hibs pitched against Falkirk in the semi-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup – but conceded Bairns boss Peter Houston is probably feeling exactly the same.
And, while Falkirk have emerged from the three Championship clashes between the sides this season boasting two wins and a draw, Stubbs insisted they’d be very much mistaken if they believe they have the Indian sign over the Capital club, adamant Hibs could quite easily have won each of those games.
Taking his team to Hampden, with the hope of a return to the national stadium at the end of May for the final itself was, Stubbs admitted, something he could never have envisaged at the beginning of the season when he arrived at Easter Road to find a club in turmoil and barely enough experienced players to field a team. But now he finds his side battling on two fronts, second in the Championship table and almost certain to earn themselves a play-off slot and now only 90 minutes away from another chance to end Hibs’ 113-year wait to get their hands on the Cup. Both Hibs and Falkirk will be delighted to have avoided Premiership opposition, Celtic and Dundee United facing a replay in Glasgow after a 1-1 draw at Tannadice, while Inverness Caley’s quarter-final tie against Raith Rovers was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch and will be played tomorrow night.
Following yesterday’s 4-0 quarter-final win over Berwick, Stubbs said: “I am happy with the draw, very happy. I would have been happy with anybody but it’s about us going to Hampden to try to win a game of football and to get into a final.
“When I came in I had a big job on my hands, we came so close to getting into the semi-finals of the League Cup and now we find ourselves in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup and I have to say I did not envisage that whatsoever.
“Falkirk can reflect on the fact they have beaten us twice and drawn one game but, if they think they have the Indian sign over us, they are kidding themselves because we all know what the outcome of those games should have been. Falkirk have done great. They are challenging potentially for the play-off places.”
The semi-finals are due to be played on the weekend of April 18-19, meaning a new date for Hibs’ away game with Livingston will have to be found, the two clubs’ also playing at Easter Road this Wednesday with the fixture having been moved to accommodate yesterday’s clash.