HIBERNIAN boss Pat Fenlon has urged his players to finally end talk of their William Hill Scottish Cup hoodoo by lifting the trophy this weekend.
The Edinburgh club have not claimed the silverware since 1902 and will be hoping to bring their 111-year wait to an end when they face Celtic on Sunday.
Hibs’ lack of success in the competition has become something of an obsession for their fans, who are desperate to see their team finally triumph in the end of season showpiece.
Fenlon had to deal with similar talk about their record in the tournament ahead of last year’s final defeat to Hearts and he knows the only solution to the relentless debate about their form in the Scottish Cup is to defeat the Hoops.
He said: “The only way to stop people from asking the question is to win it. It’s as simple as that.
“It’s the only way to put it to bed and we’ve got to try to do that.
“We can’t do anything about what has gone before but we’ve got a great chance and that’s something for myself and the players to embrace and enjoy.”
Fenlon’s men came through a difficult road to Hampden in order to book their place in the final and he wants them to cap an impressive run with victory over the Scottish champions.
He added: “We’ve had a really tough run to get to the final.
“In every game we’ve played, we’ve had to really scrap to get through, from the Hearts game, to Aberdeen and Kilmarnock, and the semi-final against Falkirk was a very difficult game.
“We’ve had to fight for the right to get here and we don’t want to give that up too easily now that we’ve got there.”
Hibs will be without captain James McPake after he was ruled out with a back problem.
But they head into the cup clash with their confidence bolstered by three wins in a row over city rivals Hearts, Kilmarnock and Dundee.
Fenlon said: “Once we got our place in the final, it was important, in the five games we had left in the league, that we got momentum.
“Fortunately, we have drawn two of them and won three and the players go into this game with big confidence.”
Hibs suffered a crushing 5-1 defeat to Hearts in last year’s Scottish Cup final and Fenlon was asked if there was anything he could take from that game into this one.
“Forget about it!,” he replied.
“It’s a completely different game, it’s a completely different squad as well.
“I know there are a few boys still there but there has been a massive changeover of players.
“I think we’ve just got to look forward to this one and embrace it and enjoy ourselves and give a performance, which we didn’t do last year.
“We will have to play well, there is no doubt about it.
“We know we are going up against a really good side and we are going to have to play well and we are going to have to have everybody on their game.
“We have to make sure we take the chances we get in the game, which we are capable of doing.
“We are capable of scoring goals and we’ve got to make sure we are solid enough defensively.”