As always in the Scottish Cup, the main thing is simply to get through.
As Hamilton showed on Saturday, there’s never an easy game in the cup, and Hibs have always found Raith Rovers a tricky place to go, so Saturday has to go down as mission accomplished.
It was encouraging that we were able to pitch a couple of new players into a big game like that and still come through it. The fact we did it without our captain and our top scorer showed the value of the squad once again.
It’s important when you’re challenging on three fronts to be able to cope when you’re without a few key men and we’ve shown several times that we can get by without any individual.
Whenever we win a game in the Scottish Cup, we always wonder if it’s going to be our year. A problem the Hibs players have to overcome is that, as we go through each round, the pressure and the hype builds, more than at other clubs, because of our poor history with the Scottish Cup. We’ve been knocking on the door the past few years, with a couple of finals and a semi-final, so hopefully we can get a favourable draw tonight and get ourselves into the later stages again. It doesn’t always work like that, though, and when Hibs and Hearts are both in the last 16, there’s always a chance they’ll get drawn together. I’d be comfortable with a derby at this stage because you’ve got to beat good teams if you want to win a cup, but I’d guess both clubs would rather get a home draw against one of the smaller clubs and save the big games for later.
Whoever we get, though, we won’t have any fear. We’re not an easy team to play against, as shown by our defensive record. That’s four clean sheets in our last six games, so, when you’re defending like that, it gives you a chance against anyone.
It means we can go to Falkirk in good fettle on Sunday for yet another massive game. The Rangers games take care of themselves, but these games are slightly different because we’re against a really good team without the big-match atmosphere. If we can win on Sunday it will put us above Falkirk again and give us the impetus to hopefully pull away.