BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Hibernian head coach Alan Stubbs has issued a call to arms to his stars ahead of tomorrow’s League Cup final, urging his players to show no fear against Ross County and insisting: ‘Nobody remembers the losers!’
The Easter Road outfit, who were defeated Scottish Cup finalists in 2012 and 2013, return to Hampden seeking their first piece of silverware in nine years.
Stubbs reckons the final is a fitting reward for the progress made by Hibs since he took charge of a club in the doldrums following the disastrous reign of Terry Butcher, which saw them relegated in 2014.
He is keen for his players to soak up every moment of the occasion – but, after losing a English League Cup final with Bolton and winning its Scottish counter-part twice with Celtic, he has emphasised that the only way they will truly enjoy the day is by emerging victorious.
The Hibs boss said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute I’ve had and it’s days like Sunday that make it mean everything. It’ll be a great day for me but I’m more interested in making it a great day for the players.
“I’ve been in their shoes. I know how good it can be and I want them to sample it because it’ll be something they can remember for the rest of their lives. It’s chances like this that you can’t let pass you by.
“You have to grab them with both hands because in this business you never know when the next one might be. It might never be.
“We’ve tried to pick the club up since we came in and we’ve made steady progress. I think the final on Sunday is a sign of that, but it’s only a sign. People never remember the losers. They only remember the winners. On Sunday, we want to be the winners.”
Stubbs will draw on some marquee advice ahead of the final, with former Everton boss David Moyes and Scotland icon Kenny Dalglish told to expect a call from the Hibs gaffer ahead of Sunday.
He continued: “I will give a call to David [Moyes]. I think he will be respectful of one of his ex-players, his ex-captain, giving him a call. He may not give me any advice, knowing David. I’m hoping he will give me words of wisdom.
“I’ll get something off Kenny [Dalglish] . . . if I can understand him.”
Meanwhile, Stubbs has confirmed that, while Paul Hanlon, Dylan McGeouch and Danny Carmichael are already ruled out of the final, he will give Fraser Fyvie until the last minute to prove his fitness following medial knee ligament damage.