Alan Stubbs today urged his players to embrace the excitement of playing in a Scottish Cup final rather than allowing themselves to be weighed down by the Easter Road club’s history in the competition.
Talk of the Capital outfit’s 114 years without winning that particular trophy has, as is always the case, dominated the build up to Saturday’s Hampden showdown with Rangers.
But, Stubbs insisted, there’s no reason why his players can’t rewrite the history books and become club legends. He said: “I’ve said all along I think it is fantastic. I’m not looking on it as a weight or pressure but as a real opportunity to get a piece of silverware.
“There’s no reason to be thinking why we shouldn’t. We went into the competition hoping to win it. With the teams we have beaten you could say we’ve done it the hard way, and now we have got to the final stage we are of the same point of view, we want to win it. We’ve fulfilled one of our targets, which was to get to a cup final.
“We’ve done it on two occasions, unfortunately we did not get one of them but now we approach Saturday with another realistic opportunity to grab a piece of silverware, to finish the season on a real high. We know it’s going to be difficult, we are under no illusions but it has the makings of a great game, an exciting game.”
Stubbs has still to finalise his starting line-up, revealing he’s hoping Dylan McGeouch will rejoin his team-mates in training today, the midfielder, who has been troubled with a groin problem for much of the season, having been forced to limp out of the second play-off game against Falkirk after only 38 minutes.
The head coach said: “We’re hoping Dylan will join us. If everything goes according to plan, he will. We are optimistic.”
The availability of McGeouch would obviously influence Stubbs’ thinking although he also has to weigh up the possible risk he might be taking.
He said: “We’ll have to make a judgment call but any decision made will, as always, be in the best interests of the team.
“I’ve got a good indication of what it will be, but I haven’t actually finalised it yet.
“Everyone seems very relaxed but also excited and the signs are there that they are really looking forward to the game as you’d expect.”