Hearts defender Aidy White admits the Scottish Cup final is at the back of the players’ minds as opportunities to impress ahead of the Hampden showdown dwindle.
Robbie Neilson’s side travel to Morton today in their penultimate Championship clash before locking horns with cup holders Celtic on December 20.
Two defeats from their last three games – to Dunfermline in the league and Alloa in the Betfred Cup last weekend – have perhaps opened the door for the fringe players, including White, to force their way into Neilson’s plans.
The former Leeds United left-back candidly concedes that the the squad are aculatey aware of the importance of the forthcoming outings against Ton and Queen of the South for both the final and their league title aspirations.
“Is the final on the players’ minds?,” mused White, “possibly, yeah.
“You always have to think about the game at the weekend first.
“The boys will want to be playing in that cup final.
“It will be the biggest game in some of their lives. Everybody will want to be involved and showcase what they can do.”
White, who has made nine appearances so far this term, was not in the matchday squad for the 2019 cup final defeat to Celtic, having been short of match fitness when he joined just two months earlier.
The 29-year-old was an interested onlooker as the Bhoys came from behind to win that game 2-1.
He added: “I’d just signed a few weeks before.
“I wasn’t fully fit so I wasn’t involved but I went to the game and watched.
“We played really well, especially in the first half. They caught us on the break for one of the goals and the other was a penalty.
“It was really disappointing. Celtic obviously showed their quality when they had opportunities.
“We are going to relish this one.”
After Hearts fired a blank for the first time this season in last weekend’s 1-0 Betfred Cup loss to Alloa, Neilson has put the squad through extra attacking drills this week.
White, however, has joked that attempts to boost the players’ confidence in front of goal have backfired due to Craig Gordon’s presence in goal.
He added: “When you’re finishing against Craig, it’s always a bit of a buzz when you score because he saves that many.
“It’s difficult, that’s the problem.
“Maybe we need someone else in the net to give us a confidence boost.
“But we have worked on ways to break teams down to get that end product.
“You do crossing and finishing, work on little through balls, moving the ball quickly from side to side, and when the opportunity comes then you play through the lines.”