Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs admits he is relishing the prospect of experiencing a packed-out Easter Road for the first time in Tuesday’s Scottish Cup replay against Hearts.
Some 20,400 fans are expected to head for Leith for the fifth round tie after the Edinburgh rivals fought out a compelling 2-2 draw last Sunday.
The fact that the game is not being broadcast live due to UEFA regulations has led to the Hibs ticket office struggling to cope with an unprecedented demand for briefs – with the home fans set to take up around 16,600 seats.
Attendances for games against Hearts and Rangers in the Championship last season, including the play-off match against the Ibrox outfit, hovered around the 15,000 mark.
But Stubbs is bracing himself for an electric atmosphere on Tuesday.
He said: “We’ll be buoyed on by a big crowd and I’m hoping they’re as noisy as anything.
“I have not witnessed a full house yet, I’m hoping it will happen on Tuesday.
“I think there is a real sense of belief sweeping right through the club.
“Not just with the players, but I really do think the fans are proud of the team that’s on the pitch and we have to keep enforcing that.
“The fans have been magnificent and Tuesday is another chance to show what potential is there.”
Stubbs, who watched Jason Cummings and Paul Hanlon score in the final ten minutes at Tynecastle after Hearts had led through first half strikes from Arnaud Djoum and Sam Nicholson, added: “I think it will be a very similar game. I don’t think there’s a huge difference between the two sets of teams. I think they’re both doing really well.
“We’ve got a different style but both teams have done really well in terms of results this season.
“I’m not surprised with what Hearts have done this season, and my team have not surprised me in terms of what we’re doing now.”