Hibs skipper Dvid Gray believes tonight’s League Cup clash with Premiership leaders Aberdeen will give him and his team-mates the chance to prove they could live in the top flight.
The Dons arrive at Easter Road on the back of eight straight wins which have put them five points clear of champions Celtic in the race for the flag but, the right back insisted, Alan Stubbs’ side are relishing the challenge rather than fearing it.
And recalling how Hibs ran Dundee United, then the in-form team in Scotland, close a year ago in the same competition before losing on penalties, Gray predicted another gripping match before a bumper crowd.
He said: “Aberdeen will come here as favourites and deservedly so, they are flying in the Premiership. It’s a good gauge for us to see where we are. Obviously our aim is to be promoted this season and this will let us know where are at the minute.
“There is no tougher test than Aberdeen right now so it is a game where we can judge ourselves and hopefully get the right result. Our aim last season was to get promoted so we could play teams like Aberdeen regularly and I think the squad we have got now could more than compete at that level.
“I honestly believe the squad we have would compete well in the Premiership given the type of football we play. Look at Hearts last season, we matched them on several occasions, but credit to them, they won the league, they were the best team in the division.”
Having had to contend with Championship clubs turning up at Easter Road intent on defending in depth, Gray knows Derek McInnes’ side will do anything but sit in and look to hit on the break. He said: “No disrespect to the teams in this league, but more often than not when they come to Easter Road it’s up to us to try an break them down.
“Aberdeen will be completely different. I’m sure they’ll come and have a go at us and hopefully it will be an enjoyable night where we can go and play football and express ourselves. They are the best team in Scotland at the minute form-wise, so we need to approach the game with the belief we can actually win.
“There is no point in thinking we have no chance – we need to approach the game with the right attitude and have a go.”