Hibs prepped for step into unknown as Monty's men launch Cup campaign

Forfar lie in wait - ready to punish any hint of complacency
Tavares is braced for another cold shift in ScotlandTavares is braced for another cold shift in Scotland
Tavares is braced for another cold shift in Scotland

Jair Tavares was smiling when he made the admission, so we can assume that the Hibs coaching staff have actually prepped players for what to expect in today’s Scottish Cup fourth-round clash with Forfar Athletic. But it’s fair to say that some in the travelling party will be stepping into the relative unknown as they trot out to face the League Two strugglers at Station Park.

"To be fair, I have zero knowledge of Forfar,” said Tavares, the Portugues winger adding: "The only thing that I know is that it's very far from Edinburgh, and it's very cold right now.

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"We've been practicing and preparing for the game. We did analysis of them. We know sometimes when the bigger teams play a lower league team, sometimes they relax a little bit. That's what we can't do. We have to take the game seriously, like it's a normal league game.

"It will be my first Scottish Cup game. For me, with all due respect it's just one more game. Playing against Forfar, I will prepare the same way as if I play against Celtic, Rangers or Hearts. I have to be focused and try to play at a good level and help the team."

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery, making his Scottish Cup debut at a club where the tournament will always be held dear, insists his team will be prepared for this afternoon’s tie – their first competitive fixtures since a winter break that included a week-long training camp in Dubai. Monty said: “We’ve had the break, now we’ve got a cup game and we’ll give them full respect - they deserve to be in the fourth round and we have to go there, be professional and put in a professional performance, and also compete.

“It’s a big game and we’re going to have a good following behind us, but Forfar will be prepared. A cup game is a cup game - but we have to concentrate on ourselves as well as giving them full respect. It’s an away game and we’ll be prepared, and that’s what we’ve been working on the last few weeks.

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“We’ve done the research and the analysis and, on any day, if we’re not prepared, then they could be dangerous. We know how they’re going to play but we have to compete and go there and play the way that we play. But it’s a cup game and it’s going to be a tough one

“It is a special tournament for this club; everybody tells you that. I enjoyed the semi-final of the League Cup and to get to any cup final is why every team is in it at the start. It’s a game at a time but this is our chance to get in the hat for the next round and that’s all we’ve been concentrating on.”

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