‘Majority’ of Hibs fans won’t get shirty over Rudi Skacel
HIBERNIAN supporters’ spokesman Mike Riley insists Peter Houston did not need to say sorry for Rudi Skacel’s provocative choice of 51 as his Dundee United squad number.
But the chairman of the Hibs Supporters’ Association still believes Skacel’s decision could backfire on United by giving Hibs extra motivation for next month’s meeting of the sides.
Houston issued a public apology to Hibs fans at the weekend after claiming not to have realised the significance of Skacel’s selection of his number – a mischievous reference to Hearts’ 5-1 hammering of their bitter city rivals in May’s one-sided Scottish Cup final.
With the teams due to face each other on November 11, Riley said: “At the end of the day, some Hibs fans will take it badly but I think the majority will just ignore it.
“Do we take it as a laugh? Yes, you have to think about how we would have reacted had the ball had been on the other foot. These are the kind of cheeky things we could do without in the game, things that are designed to antagonise opposition players and supporters.
“But hopefully it will just make the Hibs players and fans more determined to beat them when we play them next. I’m sure it will gee the Hibs players up.
“We’re having a reasonable season and the team is doing well, which is the most important thing, and the St Mirren game is the next one to focus on – then we can think about Dundee United.”
Riley insists Skacel has blundered anyway with his choice – as Hibs were the home team at Hampden on May 19. He added: “If Skacel wants to be a silly boy that’s up to him but the number 51 does not mean anything to me, it has no reference to Hibs.
“Hibs were the home team in the Scottish Cup final, so he should have asked for the number 15!”
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