BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Alan Stubbs knows the weight of history has too often rested heavily on Hibernian’s shoulders – but the head coach insists he and his players are only interested in building a brighter future.
As soon as the draw paired Edinburgh’s bitter rivals in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup, those of a Hearts persuasion were quick to delve into the recent past of the fixture.
The Cup final of 2012 was uppermost in their thoughts, the all-too-easy 5-1 thrashing of a sorry Hibs team giving supporters in maroon something to brag of forever.
However, whilst Hibs’ unease in these derbies reached its nadir with that Hampden humiliation, Stubbs has worked tirelessly to remove the perceived inferiority complex that has, at times, dogged the Easter Road outfit.
“I don’t live in the past,” he said. “There are too many things for me to worry about in the past. I try to affect the future – and we’re doing okay at that just now.
“There would be no reason for me to look at what happened previously. One, because I wasn’t here and, two, because I can’t do anything about it. All I can do is manage the future.”
There have been no meetings to provide a benchmark this season but last term, when both were in the Championship, honours were even, each winning a game and drawing two.
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson claims to be comfortable with his side being favourites, as they ride high in the Premiership, but Stubbs insists his team are not satisfied with playing second-fiddle.
“I’ve never felt inferior,” he added. “I can see where the question is coming from but since I came here, I’ve never sensed it – honestly.
“I like to make my own mind up and, in the games we’ve played, we’ve certainly competed. Our head-to-heads tell you how close we’ve been.
“We haven’t played this season and Hearts have definitely strengthened – but so have we. We’re a better team.”