David Gray happy Hibs can focus fully on Scottish Cup final after ticket U-turn
David Gray has expressed his relief that the uncertainty over fans attending the Scottish Cup final was finally put to bed last week – because it allows Hibs to focus fully on Saturday’s Hampden showdown against St Johnstone.
In the space of five days the situation regarding spectators attending the final on May 22 changed from no fans, to some fans; to hopes of as many as 3,000 supporters, to a confirmed total of 600 from both clubs; to doubts over any fans attending, and eventually to Friday’s confirmation that the match would be played behind closed doors.
Revealing that he had already had a few text messages enquiring about tickets for the final, Gray admitted that there would be mixed emotions at the national stadium on Saturday.
"There’s been no fans all season and I think it’s very difficult to only have a select few – how do you then decide who goes?” the right-back asked after captaining Hibs to a goalless draw against Celtic in the final league game of the season.
“Everybody wants to go, everybody deserves to go, and from the players’ point of view, would we have liked our families there? Absolutely; that’s the most important thing.
"For me to have my kids there would be fantastic but at the same time, we understand exactly what's going on in the world and sometimes these things just take care of themselves.”
That the back-and-forth over supporters attending the game was concluded well before another trip to Mount Florida means Jack Ross now has a clear week to prepare his charges for their fourth trip to Hampden in seven months, and Gray believes having as few distractions as possible can only be a good thing.
He added: “It’s not going to change our mindset going into the game. It's something we’ve dealt with all season, and dealt with well, and it’s probably better that it’s happened now and not a couple of days before the game.
"We can get it out of our heads now, have a normal week’s training, concentrate on it and make sure we’re as ready as we can be.”