Hibs ace Dylan McGouch determined to avoid another Hampden false start in Celtic clash



HIBS star Dylan McGeouch has vowed that the capital club will not be caught cold at Hampden again.

The Hibees endured a nightmare start on their last visit to the national stadium in April, with a sloppy kick-off against Aberdeen allowing Adam Rooney to give the Dons the lead in the Scottish Cup semi-final before Ryan Christie doubled the advantage.

Neil Lennon’s men, a Championship club at the time, fought back admirably before succumbing to a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat due to a deflected goal.

McGeouch is acutely aware that Hibs cannot afford to give Celtic – 59 games without a defeat in domestic football – similar encouragement when the sides meet in the Betfred Cup semi-final on Sunday.

The former Hoops playmaker said: “Since the Aberdeen game at Hampden we have tried our best not to lose goals really early in games because it is hard to fight your way back into the match.

“Teams like Celtic will ramp up the pressure if you give away an early goal, so it is something we need to avoid. They will make it difficult to find an equaliser.

“But we believe in ourselves to do well in the game and are looking to start well against them.

“We’re a team with confidence when it comes to cup games and a team that believes we can do well in big games, as proved in the last few years. Hopefully, with our game plan we can come out on top on Saturday – which is a game we’re all looking forward to playing in.”

McGeouch notched the goal which drew Hibs level with Aberdeen on their last trip to Hampden – and it was the only occasion when he found the net last term.

He is yet to open his account for this campaign in 13 outings and admits he is desperately seeking to get his name on the scoresheet on a more regular basis. A strike against his former club would be the perfect time to break his duck.

McGeouch told Hibs’ official website: “To score the goal that brought the team back level the last time I played at Hampden was a great feeling and I am hoping that I can maybe do it again.

“If I can add more goals to my game, starting on Saturday, then that would be great. Hopefully as a team we can do well and give the fans something to cheer about.”