Hibs legend Pat Stanton hunts boots after Neil Lennon threatens to play him against Hearts in Scottish Cup



CLUB legend Pat Stanton admits he would love to turn back the clock and lead Hibs into another Edinburgh derby, but hopes Neil Lennon can get by without him in Wednesday night’s mouthwatering clash with Hearts.

A fuming and ‘embarrassed’ Lennon tore his team to shreds after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Raith Rovers, accusing them of being a disgrace, unprofessional, insipid and disrespectful to the opposition.

In an astonishing attack on his players he insisted some should be worried about their places in the team for the Scottish Cup replay, quipping “I’ll play the kids if I have to, or Pat Stanton!”

Stanton pictured (front left) with former Hearts star Gary Mackay (front right) (Pic: Eric McCowat)

Stanton, a veteran of 32 Edinburgh derbies as a player, including Hibs’ famous 7-0 hammering of their sworn enemies on New Year’s Day 1973, reckons head coach Lennon was right to have a go at the inconsistency of his team.

But the 72-year-old is hopeful the criticism will spark the right response in the Easter Road outfit without him having to leave his place in the stands.

He told @CCP_sport: “I’ll maybe just go and have a rummage to see if I can find my boots!

“But I think someone must have stolen them or maybe someone hung them up for me to save me the embarrassment.

“That was very nice of Neil to give me a mention.

“I just think his expectations are high. He’ll have told them what he was expecting at the weekend and if you fall below that then he’s not going to be happy.

“You’ve got to remember that they’re top of the league and teams will be looking to give them a hard time because they’re up there.

“You have to get used to that and expect it.

“But it’s this type of game, against Hearts, where you can make a reputation for yourself.

“People remember the games you did well in and it’s there for you in this game to go and do it.

“That’s where you build a wee name for yourself.

“It’s such an important game that if you ‘turn up’ and do well in it then people remember that.”

The replay mirrors last year’s march to the final and Hibs’ historic first Scottish Cup triumph in 114 years, with the Easter Road side drawing at Tynecastle to earn a replay on home soil.

But, coming up against a Hearts team who have been beaten by only Celtic since the turn of the year, Stanton has warned that Hibs have a huge task on their hands to set up a quarter-final encounter with Ayr United.

He added: “All right they went to Tynecastle and got the draw to bring it to the replay, but the big danger is thinking the job’s half done.

“You’re starting again. Any similarities to the game at Tynecastle, forget about it.

“It’s another game and you’ve got to go and try to win it. It’s still to be done.”

Jason Cummings was the man who won it 12 months ago with the only goal of the game in the replay.

The 21-year-old, who scored 25 times last term, netted his 16th goal of this season to rescue a point against Raith in Kirkcaldy at the weekend.

It was former Hearts youngster’s eighth goal in his last 10 matches but Stanton believes Hibs’ hopes of a successful end to the campaign could rest on others pitching in to help Cummings in front of goal.

He explained: “What I would like to see is one or two other people giving Jason Cummings a wee hand with the goal-scoring.

“If you look at some of the recent games, if it hadn’t been for his goals then they would have struggled.

“The fact is that Jason has been doing a good job scoring goals but there comes a time when other people have got to step forward to give him a wee hand.

“Because other teams will be paying particular attention to Jason and getting closer to him.

“But that gives the opportunity for one or two others to get in there.

“You’ve got to go looking to score goals, though, that’s the thing.”