FENLON WANTS HIBS FIGHTING SPIRIT
Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon has urged his side to show more of the character which delivered Clydesdale Bank Premier League survival in Saturday's Scottish Cup final with Hearts.
Hearts are favourites to win the first all-Edinburgh Scottish Cup final since 1896, with Hibs winless in 10 attempts in the derby and without success in the competition in 110 years.
Hibs secured SPL survival at the expense of Dunfermline and defied their critics to reach the final by beating Aberdeen in the semi-final.
Fenlon said: "We went to Dunfermline which was a massive game, we came through that. We went to Aberdeen in the league, we came through that.
"In the semi-final we conceded a goal, were under a bit of pressure, we came through that. Dunfermline at home in a massive game for us, we came through that.
"It was a big relief to make sure we stayed in the league, that's probably where the real pressure was for us.
"Saturday's a different type of pressure, but something I want to enjoy as well. We can't change what's gone on previously, but we can change it come Saturday."
With the Scottish Cup final occupying the minds of many Edinburgh residents, Hibs went to Dublin to hone preparations, with Fenlon selecting the team on Tuesday.
He added: "We know the team, the players know the team. We've done a fair bit of work in relation to that. Everybody knows the job we expect on the day.
"We have some decisions still to make in relation to who is going to be on the bench and that's probably the hardest part because people will miss out. But that's football."
Only goalkeeper Graham Stack (thigh) and winger Danny Galbraith (groin) are certain to be absent, and in the likes of Leigh Griffiths and Garry O'Connor, the goalscorers in the semi-final defeat of Aberdeen, Fenlon believes Hibs have the quality to prevail.
"I'm delighted with the way the team is at the moment," he said.
"We've got pace and we've got strength in the team.
"We've got good shape about us and some fantastic individual players."
Hibs have some insider knowledge of Hearts as assistant manager Billy Brown began the season at Tynecastle alongside Jim Jefferies, who was succeeded as boss by Paulo Sergio in August.
Of Brown, Fenlon, who was appointed in November, said: "He's been great since I've been in. His knowledge of the game has been a massive help to me."
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