STANTON CALLS ON HIBS TO HAVE BELIEF
Hibernian great Pat Stanton believes now is the time for his former club to refuse to accept Hearts' superiority ahead of this weekend's William Hill Scottish Cup final.
The Edinburgh rivals will face each other in the Hampden showpiece for the first time since 1896 when they contest the silverware on Saturday.
Hearts head into the highly-anticipated clash as favourites as a result of their unbeaten record in the previous 10 meetings between the two clubs.
But, having already demonstrated their battling qualities to avoid relegation from the Clydesdale Bank Premier League this season, Stanton insists now is as good a time as any for Hibs to fight back.
He said: "Hearts are the favourites and there is no disputing that.
"Hearts have got some good players but too often when they play Hibs, Hibs just seem to roll over and accept it.
"On an occasion like this, you can't do that.
"Hibs have got to go out and not do anything silly to start with and give themselves a chance and take it from there. If they do that, who knows?"
He added: "It really shouldn't matter what has happened in those other derby games.
"It's another game, it's another day and it's a cup final.
"It's up to the Hibs players to make it different and change things.
"You can't argue with Hearts' results recently. Hearts have had the upper-hand and rightly so, they have deserved it. But Saturday is another game."
Hibs are aiming to end a 110-year wait for the trophy and Stanton has some idea of the expectation that will be weighing heavily on the shoulders of the current crop of players having spent 13 years at Easter Road himself.
He said: "It's been going on for years. It will happen sometime and I'd like to be around to see it.
"There are people who I knew who are gone now and they never saw it.
"Who knows, with a wee bit of luck we might do it.
"I would be delighted for the players. I would be delighted for the manager who has had a difficult time and who came here at a difficult time.
"And it would be great for the long-suffering fans."
The former midfielder, 67, was a star of the impressive Hibs team of the 1960s and 1970s but they never managed to claim the Scottish Cup.
Stanton lost out in the final to Celtic in 1972, but did win the silverware in 1977 when he moved to the Hoops.
He said: "It's great when you win it and it's bitterly disappointing when you lose it.
"This time, it may be against your nearest rivals, but so what? Get on with it and enjoy the occasion.
"A lot of great players have never won a cup or even been in a cup final and these lads are and they've got the chance.
"If Hearts win, it won't be the end of the world. It might seem like it for a week or two - but it's not the end of the world."
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