Reaching a cup final in any country is one of the pinnacles of a footballer’s career, but for the fans it is a chance to celebrate some silverware and for Hibs fans that kind of celebration is few and far between.
2007 was the last time that fans of the Easter Road side could celebrate a piece of silverware, since then they have reached two Scottish Cup finals and lost both – to city rivals Hearts (5-1) and Celtic (3-0). So they will be hoping that they can down Premiership side Ross County to lift the first piece of silverware of the season.
Scotzine talked to confident Hibernian fan Robert MacLeod ahead of the cup final clash against Ross County.
Who got you involved in supporting Hibs?
My Dad started taking me to the games in 1997 and I have been a season ticket holder since. And I will be renewing next season regardless of the Division we will be playing in. I love watching Hibs it’s a real family occasion, with my two cousins, uncle and Dad all season ticket holders too.
Why do you support Hibernian? What makes it so special?
I love the buzz of Easter Road on a Saturday, the walk to the stadium and the away day atmosphere. Sunshine on Leith at a full Easter Road or at Hampden is worth all the hard times.
What do you think of the job the manager is doing this season?
Stubbs has done a great job this season whilst we have not yet achieved anything yet. The feel good factor is back around the club and the style of football and the playing staff Stubbs has implemented is the best I have seen since the Mowbray era. This has been underlined with brilliant performances against Premiership opposition (particularly Hearts) where we have been superior.
Who is your all-time favourite player at the club?
My favourite player has to be Franck Sauzee. The man oozed class, played for the jersey and made it look effortless. Touch, style and grace and what a strike he had!
Currently it has to be John McGinn. He is a box to box midfielder, strong in the tackle and has excellent technique. He reminds me of a young Scott Brown as he really can take the game by the scruff of the neck. He will move on at some point in the future but whilst he is here we should all enjoy it!
Who will be your club’s key player on Sunday?
John McGinn will be key as when he plays well and influences games we win. Cummings will also have a say and we need our strikers to be clinical.
What one player from the opposition side would you want in your team?
I would take Liam Boyce from Ross County. He has scored a lot of goals in the Premiership and will be a real threat with his movement and finishing ability.
If your club was a song, what would it be?
Our club is a song, Sunshine on Leith. It talks about heartache and loyalty and we hope to hear it at 5pm on Sunday sung by 30,000 Hibees.
If it wasn’t that song it would be somewhere over the rainbow as it feels like that’s where the Scottish Cup is for us Hibees!
If you were in charge of the pre-match team talk, how would you motivate the players? What would you say to inspire them?
I would say be heroes and create your own piece of history. The chance to win cup finals do not come along very often and you may only get one chance. Give it everything and you will win. Look at the supporters out there, here in the numbers, after everything this club has put them through over the past years. Repay their loyalty and do it for yourselves and your family.
What would your starting XI be for the final?
Oxley, Gray, McGregor, Fontaine, Stevenson, Bartley, McGinn, Henderson, Boyle, Cummings, Stokes.
Hard to call as I think it really is a 50-50 game but, 2-1 Hibs.