BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Dylan McGeouch reckons Alan Stubbs’ high expectations are helping fuel Hibernian’s drive for success on three fronts.
The Easter Road men already have a League Cup semi-final to look forward to later this month as they prepare to take on Premiership opposition in the form of St Johnstone at Tynecastle on January 30.
Goals from Darren McGregor – his first for his boyhood heroes and the club’s 1,000th in the tournament – and Dominique Malonga in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Raith Rovers ensures the capital outfit can also keep dreaming of finally ending their 114-year heartache in the Scottish Cup.
With hopes they can pip Rangers to promotion in the league, McGeouch insists they have their sights set on a hat-trick of silverware.
And the former Celtic midfielder believes Stubbs’ background as a player with the Parkhead side, and with the likes of Everton, is helping push his squad on.
He said: “The manager’s had an unbelievable career and played at top teams, and he’s always played under that pressure of winning every game, or expecting to win every game.
“I think that feeds onto the boys. He’s always demanding high standards and, as a squad as well, we know we’re good enough to mix it with any team.
“It’s a pressure we put on ourselves, really.
“You could see in the first-half on Saturday we weren’t really at it but we had a word with ourselves as a team and a manager and we came out for the second-half and the game was never in doubt.
“We put our foot on the ball, we sprayed it about and we scored good goals. That’s the standards we’ve got to demand on each other.
“When one or two aren’t at it we need to get going and get our game going.”
McGeouch confesses promotion back to the Premiership is the primary goal for Hibs this season but, as long as the cups are a possibility, the 22-year-old is adamant they will do all they can to land the club’s first silverware in seven years.
The capital side fell at the penultimate hurdle last year when they lost to Falkirk in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup at Hampden.
It is a blow McGeouch does not want to experience again as the Easter Road men wait to find out their last-16 opponents in today’s draw (Monday).
He added: “The cup’s massive. You want to be involved in every competition.
“The main objective is to get up into the top league. At the start of the season that was the main goal.
“But we’ll take the cups as well.
“We’ve got a semi-final to look forward to at the end of the month.
“We’ll be looking to get into a final at Hampden and then there’s this cup (the Scottish Cup) as well.
“We had a great run last year and got to Hampden, and we’ll be looking to do the same again.
“Every competition we’re in we’re wanting to win.
“Everybody that’s in it can win it, and we’re confident in the squad we’ve got to come up against anyone.
“We showed that at the start of the season against Aberdeen. They were flying and they came to our place and we put them out (of the League Cup).
“We obviously know we can mix it with the top league as well.
“So, hopefully we can keep our heads down in the league and when the cup comes we can do a job there as well.”