Martin Boyle reckons Scottish Cup semi-final is welcome break for Hibs and Dundee from league stresses



Martin Boyle reckons both Hibs and Dundee United will be relieved to get away from the strain of their respective league campaigns when they lock horns in Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.

Boyle’s Hibs have seen the wheels fall off their charge for promotion from the Championship via the play-offs following a woeful run of one win in eight matches.

That includes Tuesday’s 2-2 draw when the Leith outfit threw away a two-goal lead in the final three minutes against ten-man Falkirk.

martinboyleAt Tannadice, United appear to be losing their battle to preserve their top-flight status having slipped eight points behind Kilmarnock with only five games left.

And former Dundee forward Boyle insists both sides will welcome the break from league duty when they clash at the national stadium.

He said: “We will both be happy to get away from the league for a few days. It’s a Scottish Cup semi-final and it’s going to be a great occasion.

“It will be good for Dundee United to get away from it all. They will enjoy getting away from the league competition but they are down at the bottom for a reason.

“They’re down there because they’ve not competed this season.

“We can take a lot of positives from this season. We’ve knocked a few higher league teams out of the cups.

“I don’t think we will be lacking confidence, we know we can beat higher opposition and hopefully it’s no different on Saturday.

“This is a cup game and anything can happen on the day, and we will be looking to capitalise on that.

“I’m sure it’ll be a great day and we can make it a great day.”

A woeful run of form has left Hibs trailing the Bairns by six points in the Championship, albeit they have two games in hand.

But Boyle is adamant the League Cup runners-up can finish their season on a high despite their recent barren patch.

He added: “We need to get back to our best starting from now. This is our mini-season starting from now. We need to get back to our best otherwise it’s going to be doom and gloom.

“There’s always pressure when you are at a big club like Hibs. The fans have high demands and we believe we can achieve things. If we play the same way that we were at the start of the season then I’m sure we will have no troubles.

“It was a bit devastating on Tuesday and it felt like a defeat in the end, the lack of concentration in the last five minutes has killed us and we dropped two points.

“We’ve just got to move on and look forward to Saturday, it’s a great occasion, a semi-final so we just need to brush that aside and get on with it.

“I thought we actually played well on Tuesday apart from the last five minutes. It’s the best we’ve played in months.”

Boyle insists the league will remain their priority despite being one match away from a Scottish Cup final appearance.

He added: “I wouldn’t trade promotion for the Scottish Cup. Promotion has always been the aim this season, nothing else, but luckily we have the chance to do both.”