Hibernian’s Alan Stubbs eagerly awaiting Rangers final showdown

Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs. Picture: John Devlin
Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs. Picture: John Devlin
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Hibs manager Alan Stubbs is anticipating a season finale he described as “potentially one of the most exciting the club has seen”.

Stubbs was reacting to a weekend in which Hibs booked a Scottish Cup final place against Championship rivals Rangers with Saturday’s win over Dundee United.

“I have said all along it is not what you do in April, it is what you do in May,” he said. The cup finalists are involved in a dress rehearsal on Wednesday night in a league fixture meaning far more to Hibs than it does to Rangers.

Hibs are seeking to reach the final of the Premiership play-off, with the two legs scheduled to bookend the Scottish Cup final, on 21 May. The first leg has been provisionally scheduled for the Tuesday before the final, with the second leg to follow on Wednesday 25 May after the Hampden occasion.

Stubbs asked Hibs fans to believe it could be one of the greatest weeks in the club’s history. “We have to gear everything towards what could potentially be one of the most exciting weeks the club has seen,” he said.

Wednesday’s clash between Hibs and Rangers was expected to be their fifth and last meeting of the season. However, yesterday’s result at Hampden, where Rangers beat Celtic on penalties in their Scottish Cup semi-final clash, has ensured a sixth game against Mark Waburton’s side.

“They [Rangers] have done great this year in the league,” said Stubbs. “Mark has done what everyone has expected a Rangers team to do. I have to say it has taken the club a year longer than expected but I think that tells you how difficult the Championship is.

“Mark has done a really good job. I don’t think anyone could have written that they’d get promotion and be in a Scottish Cup final. I think Rangers will be favourites. But on our day, and on a Scottish Cup final day, anything is possible.”