Jacob Blaney insists Hibs U18s' focus is now on league as Gareth Evans admits team 'paid price' in cup semi-final

Gareth Evans has urged his Hibs Under-18 side to use Friday’s Scottish Youth Cup semi-final defeat by Rangers as a learning curve, and use it as motivation in the league.

Monday, 7th March 2022, 12:31 pm
Jacob Blaney wants Hibs Under-18s to bounce back from their Scottish Cup exit
Jacob Blaney wants Hibs Under-18s to bounce back from their Scottish Cup exit

A Josh O’Connor double had Hibs 2-1 up at half-time, with Charlie Lindsay on target for the Light Blues, but James Graham equalised with 15 minutes remaining and Robbie Ure scored a pair of headers to turn the game on its head and send the Gers through to the final against Hearts.

Speaking to the Hibs website after the game Evans said: “It was disappointing when we were 2-1 up with 20 minutes to go.

"We were hopeful that we’d see the game out, but we didn’t. We tried to get ourselves back in it, but losing three goals from set plays was especially disappointing.

"It was a disappointing evening all round.”

Hibs were unlucky not to go in at half-time with a greater advantage but the visitors were on top in the second half and deserved winners.

“We should have been more than 2-1 up at half-time. We could have scored more goals in the first half from the way that we played but we weren’t, and we paid the price for it in the second half,” Evans added.

Hibs will now turn their attentions to the CAS Elite Under-18 League, which they have a great chance of winning, and Evans wants his youngsters to use the semi-final defeat to fuel their title charge.

“This is a learning curve for them. They have to feel the pain that they feel tonight and take it into the future games that they have.”

Centre-back Jacob Blaney, who was on the bench for the first team’s 0-0 draw with St Johnstone on Saturday alongside O’Connor, added: “We didn’t start the same as we usually do, we usually have high pressure.

"We were just too deep. We didn’t get up the pitch and didn’t play our usual game. We have to learn from this experience and that’ll help us as we develop.”

Hibs have a trip to Celtic on Friday night, followed by a home game against Hearts, and Blaney is keen to bounce back with six points.

“We just need to focus on our next game, put this behind us and move onto the league,” he said.

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