How Hearts will cope with Hampden pressure in Scottish Cup final with Rangers

After six visits to Hampden Park since 2019, Hearts manager Robbie Neilson is confident his players can handle the pressure of Saturday’s Scottish Cup final against Rangers.

Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 7:00 am

The Edinburgh club have regularly featured in cup semi-finals and finals during the last three years, although they remain without major silverware since 2012.

Tynecastle players contested the Scottish Cup semi-finals and final in both 2019 and 2020, plus the 2019 League Cup semi-final. Last month’s win against Hibs was their sixth tie in Glasgow to set up this weekend’s showpiece with Rangers.

“The boys played in this year's semi, some of them played in the last final in 2020 even though there were no fans, and a couple of them played against Celtic the year before that. So we have that experience,” Neilson told the Evening News.

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“The semi-final had a big build-up. It was a huge game with a lot of pressure on it. It was a chance to get to a final by beating our biggest rivals. You also had the backdrop of guaranteeing European group-stage football. The players are used to being there so now it's a case of taking it to the next level again.”

Neilson intends to watch Rangers play Eintracht Frankfurt in tonight’s Europa League final but isn’t sure what insight he might glean.

“It’s interesting,” he said. “Will we take much from it? I went to their last couple of European games and they changed their shape totally to a different style. I'd expect them to play that way on Wednesday and then revert back to their usual Scottish way of playing on Saturday.”

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Hearts beat Hibs in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden last month.