Fraser Fyvie has warned his former club Aberdeen that they will encounter a buoyant Hibs side in Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final.
The Easter Road side go into this weekend’s Hampden showdown invigorated by having already achieved their primary objective for the season after tying up the Championship title and ensuring they will return to the Premiership next term following a three-year absence.
The triumphant Hibs squad have been in high spirits over the past few days, as evidenced by a video that emerged of top scorer Jason Cummings staging a mock fight with wrestling star Grado amid much hilarity at the training ground yesterday.
Midfielder Fyvie feels that the fact they now have no league matters to distract them means they can head to Glasgow to face the Premiership’s second-place side in pressure-free mood. “We go there full of confidence after winning the league,” said Fyvie. “We’re going back up to the Premiership, which is fantastic. The pressure is off probably off because we don’t need to worry about the league any more. We still want win our last league games but going into Saturday, I think it’s fair to say there’s less pressure on us going into Saturday because we’re back up.”
Although Hibs are in a confident frame of mind, Fyvie is all too aware that Aberdeen represent formidable opposition. He views Saturday’s game against his hometown team as one that could go either way. “It’s 50/50,” he said. “Aberdeen are having a great season. They’ve got a great squad, good players and a good manager, so it’ll be a very difficult game for us. We’ll have to be at our best to beat them.
“They’ve had such a good season that they’ll want to end it on a high in terms of getting to a final. I’m still very good mates with [Aberdeen captain] Ryan Jack so I keep in touch with him regularly. I’ve been to a few of their games this season and they’re a good outfit. They were on a long unbeaten run before the Rangers game and everybody knows where they are in the league. We are both on a good run of form and full of confidence and it should be a good occasion.”
Fyvie has never played against Aberdeen since departing for Wigan Athletic in 2012, just weeks after losing a Scottish Cup semi-final to Hibs. The 24-year-old was injured when the Easter Road side knocked the Pittodrie team out of the League Cup last season. Several of his friends and family will be at Hampden – although they won’t all be rooting for him.
“I’ve not played against Aberdeen since I’ve been away so I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “Most of my family and a few of my mates will be in Aberdeen end. Pretty much all my family will be in the Aberdeen end bar my mum and dad, who’ll be in the Hibs end. My uncle did say ‘I’m getting to a final either way’, but I think he’d rather Aberdeen got there. My family all came to watch me in last year’s Scottish Cup final [against Rangers]. They’ve experienced that and they were also at Aberdeen’s League Cup win over Inverness.”
Fyvie is looking forward to doing battle for the first time with Jack, the tough-tackling Aberdeen midfielder and skipper with whom he came through the ranks. “I played alongside Ryan since I was seven years old,” said the Hibs midfielder. “We came all the way through together and he is my best pal. I spoke to him the other day and we have had a bit of banter about the game. He wants to win the Scottish Cup and I want to win it too.
“Come Saturday, it will be a case of ‘see you after the match’. We will see how it goes and hopefully we can come out winners on the day and get ourselves to another final.”
Fyvie is impressed with the manner in which his boyhood mate has emerged as one of Aberdeen’s main men over the past few years. “Ryan is the Aberdeen captain and that speaks for itself,” he said. “He has done fantastically well in the last few seasons and he is highly regarded in Scottish football.
“I think he is a fantastic player and we can all see the game that he produces week-to-week. He is one of the first names on the Aberdeen teamsheet and everything seems to go through him. He is a top player.”
Meanwhile, Fyvie laughed off his hapless attempt at a somersault in the post-match celebrations following Saturday’s title-clinching victory over Queen of the South. As defender Efe Ambrose pulled off some acrobatic flips to the delight of the Easter Road crowd, the Aberdonian decided to mimic his Nigerian team-mate. “I thought I’d do a wee forward roll to see what I could get out of it, but nobody gave me a cheer or anything,” he smiled. “It was a bit stiff, wasn’t it?”