PAT FENLON described the sight of a 17,000 strong green and white army marching on Hampden as “incredible,” but insisted he wasn’t at all surprised to see so many Hibs fans preparing to roar his team on in their William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Falkirk.
The Easter Road club have sold around 4000 more tickets for the clash with the First Division outfit than they did for last year’s semi-final with SPL rivals Aberdeen and Fenlon believes the fans can play their part in ensuring a return to the national stadium at the end of next month for a second successive cup final appearance.
Despite Hibs’ 111-year wait to lay their hands on the trophy and the humiliation inflicted by Capital foes Hearts last season, Fenlon believes the Scottish Cup still holds a special place in the affections of the supporters who will today outnumber Falkirk fans by three to one.
Recalling how there were almost twice as many Hibs fans than Kilmarnock supporters at Rugby Park to see a Leigh Griffiths hat-trick steer the Capital club to a 4-2 win in the quarter-final, Fenlon said: “I think it is a special cup for them even although we have not won it for so long.
“They always seem to turn out in massive numbers for us. The travelling support we had at Kilmarnock was fantastic so I am delighted but not surprised at how many are going to Hampden. They’ll provide a big backing for us.
“It’s great the semi is being played at Hampden. There’s probably nowhere else but the other two big grounds in Glasgow that could accommodate our supporters. If you don’t get a buzz out of going to Hampden to play in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup you are in the wrong game.”
• Hibs’ Under-20 side will face Kilmarnock at Prestonfield Park, Linlithgow, on Tuesday. Kick-off 7pm. Admission free.