ALAN STUBBS today welcomed the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final draw which threw Hibs up against either Spartans or Berwick Rangers at Easter Road, saying: “I got what I wanted.”
While he’ll have to wait until next Tuesday’s replay at Shielfield Park to discover his side’s last-eight opponents, Stubbs admitted most Hibs fans will be hoping it’s their Capital neighbours who will be making the short journey from Ainslie Park at the beginning of March.
Having avoided the three remaining Premiership clubs – Dundee United will face Celtic at Tannadice while Inverness take on Raith Rovers at home – the Hibs head coach said: “I am delighted we are at home – I got what I wished for. That’s the most important thing but I am not going to lie, it’s a good draw for us. I’m sure Spartans will be wanting an all-Edinburgh tie, that would be really nice for the city. However, Spartans have still to get through, which will be difficult. I heard Berwick had a few chances on Saturday but, while it will be tough it’s certainly an incentive. I would have thought most Hibs fans would want to see Spartans, a tie with two Edinburgh clubs. There could be a big crowd on the day which, if it were Spartans, would help them. But it’s a great draw for us. We’ve stayed away from the Premiership teams, but the most important thing is it will only be a good draw if we come through and into the semi-finals.”
Hibs, of course, already have close ties with Spartans, the two clubs having set up a “transition academy” a few months ago while the Championship outfit’s development team play their home games at the Lowland League side’s Ainslie Park.
Stubbs, though, is also well aware that Berwick Rangers, under former Hearts midfielder Colin Cameron, have a number of players with Easter Road connections, Lee Currie, Steven Notman, David Gold and Dean Horribine having all been with Hibs in the recent past and will no doubt relish the thought of a return.
He said: “To be honest, a lot of the teams we play against always have connections with Hibs, players who have been here and it didn’t work out for one reason or another or they have just moved away. Even on Saturday against Arbroath there was the connection between Simon Murray and his dad who use to play for Hibs.
“So it doesn’t surprise me there’s two or three of the Berwick boys with previous ties to Hibs.”
Stubbs revealed he’ll immediately begin building his dossier on both Spartans and Berwick with a trip to Shielfield Park for the replay already in his diary while Hibs will also be represented at Berwick’s home game against Arbroath this weekend.