Semi-finals are all about winning first and foremost, but the fact Hibs were also able to produce an excellent performance made it all the more enjoyable for all of our supporters who packed into Tynecastle on Saturday.
From the first kick, the players were right at it and played a lot of good football. It was the best I’ve seen from them for a good few months and we ran out deserved winners. St Johnstone never really showed up, but I think a lot of that was down to the fact Hibs didn’t allow them to play.
We’ve proved several times now that we can cope with the big boys, certainly in one-off cup ties, and we need to use the performance from Saturday as the benchmark for the rest of the season.
We’ve still got a lot of work to do in the league – it’s not a foregone conclusion that we’re going to get promoted. But if the players could stay at the level they showed on Saturday, then there’s nobody in the Championship who could live with them.
We’re in the midst of a really tough run of games, so hopefully the confidence we take from reaching a final can give us a bit of fresh impetus to kick on and get back to our best form.
This could be a really great week for Hibs, but the players have got to stay close to the levels they reached on Saturday. Tomorrow’s game at Morton is a dangerous one so we’ve got to make sure we don’t allow it to go flat. Even though it might feel a bit lower-key than the cup games, the manager will leave them in no uncertain terms about how important this trip to Cappielow is. With Rangers winning again, we can’t afford any more slip-ups.
A win tomorrow would set us up nicely for our return to Tynecastle on Sunday. We’ve proved we can beat top-six opposition twice already this season and I don’t see why we can’t beat Hearts. The fact the players have just had a positive result at Tynecastle should help them as well. They really seemed to feed off playing in front of a full house.
It will be a bit more difficult this time because Hearts will have the majority of the crowd, but I’d fancy this team against anybody on a one-off occasion.