HE EARNED legendary status with the goal that ended 114 years of Scottish Cup heartache – now David Gray is hopeful another late header leads to more silverware for Hibernian.
The defender popped up with a crucial 87th-minute strike on Tuesday night to see off League One Forfar Athletic and move the Easter Road side to the cusp of qualification for the Betfred Cup knock-out stages.
It may have lacked the drama of his 2016 Scottish Cup winner over Rangers at a packed Hampden, but the 32-year-old is hopeful that ultimately there will still be a trophy to lift.
“At the start of every season, we go into it thinking we want to finish in Europe and win a cup,” he said. “We have a chance to compete in the Betfred, we have nine points from nine.
“I think we have shown this season we are a match for anyone on our day and in a cup competition that’s what you need. We have started the season really well, it’s a good start and we have to keep it going.
“At the start of every season we set our targets and so far we have been banging them out.
“But we can’t look too far ahead and get carried away with ourselves, it’s about keeping doing the things that have worked for us so far. We want to really push on and see where it takes us.”
Tuesday’s Station Park encounter was just a third outing of the campaign for Gray. After sitting on the bench in the league, he has started all three Betfred Cup ties as manager Jack Ross has been forced into multiple changes because of international duty and injuries.
And Gray, who since joining in July 2014 has racked up more than 160 games for Hibs, is adamant he is not content to sit and watch his team-mates this season as they target third in the league and the forthcoming chance to reach a Scottish Cup final.
“I’m desperate to play all the time,” he added. “When you’re fit you want to play, but at the same time I am realistic enough to know the boys are flying.
“Defensively, they have been fantastic and that has been shown by Steve Clarke calling the boys [Paul Hanlon, Paul McGinn and Ryan Porteous] up to the Scotland squad – and rightly so.
“They have been brilliant all season. So, for the likes of myself and Darren McGregor, we have to be patient and as professional as we can so when we’re called upon we’re ready.
“The last three games have been an opportunity for us to do that. You just have to be ready, be as fit as you can be and do everything right so when you do go in you can help the team.”