Jason Cummings today revealed how boss Alan Stubbs had convinced his players they had the beating of Premiership leaders Aberdeen.
Championship outfit Hibs stunned the Dons, who’d arrived at Easter Road boasting a record of eight successive league wins, by sending them crashing out of the League Cup.
But while he accepted many will regard it as a shock result, the striker insisted he and his team-mates “fancied” their chances, particularly after a “pep” talk by head coach Stubbs on the eve of the match.
Cummings who sent Hibs on the way to a memorable victory with a stunning late strike followed by a second from substitute Dominique Malonga eight minutes later, said: “We knew we were going into the game as underdogs but the gaffer had been saying all week that we were going to win.
“He was telling us what we already knew, that the ability here is unbelievable.
“And when I had a look round at the other guys in the changing room before kick-off I just had a feeling we were going to do it. We were all fairly confident even although they are the best team in the country at the moment.
“We knew we were going to give them a right good game. There was no pressure on us, if we didn’t win that’s what people expected but we just fancied ourselves to do it.”
Cummings admitted his legs had just about gone when he took Lewis Stevenson’s cross down on his chest and turned to drive home his sixth goal of the season and added: “I wasn’t looking forward to extra time, I was feeling really tired.
“But when I made good contact with the ball on my favoured left foot I knew it was going in. Then Dom runs half the length of the pitch – the last guy you’d expect to do that – and shows great feet to put it away.”
Stubbs described Malonga’s strike as the “icing on the cake” after admitting he felt his players didn’t perform as well as they could in the first half although he believed they lived up to his promise that Hibs would have a go at the high-flying Dons.
He said: “I don’t see the point, especially at home of just trying to sit in. Aberdeen are a really good team, there’s no doubt about that and this result doesn’t change that whatsoever so we were going to have to be positive and have a go and the formation I went with says it all.
“I told the players I fancied us, I just fancied us. We have good players here, we are a really good team with some really exciting young players who are going to get better and better .
“You do not beat the team that’s top of the Premiership by luck, we have done it because we have good players.
“It’s a fantastic result. We are in the next round, the players can get excited about that but I am already thinking about St Mirren on Saturday. I’m sad, but that’s what I am thinking. We have to move on, the players can enjoy it tonight – and I don’t mean by going out – by reading the papers but then the focus is on Saturday.”