Hibs Ladies boss Chris Roberts insists his players have nothing to fear ahead of tomorrow’s Scottish Cup final against Glasgow City at Hamiton Accies’ Superseal Stadium.
The clubs will meet for a fifth and final time this season, City having won all three league meetings en route to claiming their tenth consecutive SWPL 1 league championship a fortnight ago.
However, the Hibees did claim their solitary win over Scott Booth’s outfit in spectacular fashion when an injury-time Lizzie Arnot strike sealed League Cup glory for the Capital outfit at Ainslie Park in June.
Roberts accepts City go into tomorrow’s showdown as firm favourites given their dominance of the women’s game in the last decade but believes his players are ready to claim their first cup double in nine years.
“City are favourites because of what they’ve done in the game over the last nine or ten years and rightly so. They’ve won the league this year and had the upper hand against us so they’ll be confident too,” Roberts admitted. “But all the pressure is on them as if they were to win just one trophy out of the three then that would be a step back for them this year.
“It’s easy to talk about pressure but both teams will be feeling it.
“I think the League Cup final could also have a bearing on tomorrow. I think it was the girls’ will to win the game that saw them over the line that day. And, even in the last game a couple of weeks ago we were really struggling for numbers but we played really well and created a lot of chances despite getting beat 3-1. We have taken a lot from that too. It’s been hard work to get close to them. We lost Chloe Arthur to Bristol City last year but we’ve been able to kick on despite losing a player of that calibre.
“I love this particular game, it’s the Scottish Cup final and the last game of the season. It’s a game you can put everything into both physically and mentally as you get a good break on the back of it.
“Just go and play, you don’t need to motivate players for cup finals. Our senior players like Lisa Robertson, Joelle Murray, Siobhan Hunter wouldn’t accept anything less.”
Roberts would love to see his players add to the men’s Scottish Cup success when a late David Gray header gave Hibs a 3-2 victory over Rangers at Hampden in May to end the club’s 114-year hoodoo.
“I know the club would be extremely proud if it happens as bringing trophies back to football clubs is so important,” he said. “The men have won the Scottish, we’ve already won the League Cup this year too so we’d love to add another trophy tomorrow. It would be great to go and see them win the Championship this year so success breeds success.
“The majority of the squad are fresh and ready to go, preparation has been good so we’re all looking forward to tomorrow. To come away from the season having won two out of the three competitions, plus having played Bayern Munich in the Champions League, would be a huge success that certainly puts us on the front foot going forward.”
Roberts also revealed he will allow his players some much-needed recuperation following the conclusion of tomorrow’s match before sitting down one-to-one with his squad in preparation for next season.
“I’d like to keep the whole squad together next year but we’ve not had any discussions as I find these things can get in the way before a big game. We’ll give everyone a break after tomorrow before having those chats with the players,” he added.