Yesterday showed, once again, that we’re a match for anyone in the country on our day. If we had been able to replicate our cup performances consistently in the league we’d have no worries about promotion.
After the three league defeats, we looked much more like ourselves against Inverness. It was a real old-fashioned cup tie, but, over the piece, we deserved to win. We were unfortunate because we had a few good chances but we got hit by a bit of a sucker punch when Inverness got their goal out of nothing.
The main thing was to stop the rot ahead of the League Cup final because you don’t want to be going into a big match like that on the back of four straight defeats. Everyone should take heart from yesterday’s performance because Inverness are a team of similar standard to Ross County.
I see County as favourites because they are in the Premiership and they have recently come through a semi-final at Hampden whereas playing at the national stadium will be a new experience for a lot of our boys.
The big support should help Hibs, but if we turn up thinking we’re going to win just because we’re the bigger club with the bigger support, then we’ll get turned over. We need to make sure we perform because County are a very useful team. We’re certainly capable of winning it, but we’ll need our main players to be right at it. That’s easier said than done in a cup final, though, as nerves can play a big part in games like these. Make no mistake, there’ll be big pressure on the Hibs players.
In that regard, I think the fact they are away to Spain for a few days should help them. They’ve had a really heavy schedule lately, so getting away for a few days in the sun should help refresh them. You want to make it as special an occasion as possible for the players and the fact they are going abroad will help them realise the magnitude of the game they are coming back to.
If they win on Sunday, they’ll certainly realise just how big a club Hibs are because the reception they’ll get will be incredible. Speaking from personal experience, it will live with them forever if they’re able to bring the trophy back to Leith.