Daryl Horgan was spot-on in revealing his first thought on facing Elgin City in the Scottish Cup was not to become the victim of a giantkilling act.
Obviously, everyone at Easter Road would have been confident of beating a team from League Two but these games are always tricky, the so-called smaller side has nothing to lose and all the pressure is on you.
I can remember a few struggles from my own playing days, most notably against Cowdenbeath at Central Park in 1993. Gordon Hunter looked to have given away a stonewall penalty late on but somehow he got away with it and we managed to hold on for a 0-0 draw. We got them back to Easter Road for the replay a few days later and only won by a goal from Pat McGinlay.
That’s why I’ve always been a great believer when it comes to cup football the only thing that matters is getting into the next round even if it’s a poor performance.
Thankfully, Hibs didn’t have any such problems at the weekend, it was a professional performance with a few goals – and it could have been more – thrown in.
The draw for the fifth round has also been kind, at home to Raith Rovers which is all Neil Lennon and his players could have asked for but, in the meantime, it’s back to league business and trying to push into the top six and beyond.
The goals against Elgin will have helped boost confidence but Motherwell away on Wednesday night is a big game. It will be important to kick off the second half of the season with a win and build from there.
However, the Motherwell players will be hurting from being knocked out of the cup at home by Ross County and will be determined to make amends for that disappointment. Again, though, the result more than the performance is paramount.
Injuries haven’t helped but now experienced players are coming back and it will be up to them to step up to the challenge and hopefully their return will also see a better balance to the team, something I feel has been missing so far this season.