Alan Stubbs looks to end Hibs’ Scottish Cup stat

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ALAN Stubbs is well aware he is the latest Hibernian manager to go in search of the club’s “Holy Grail”.

The Englishman took charge of the Easter Road side last summer with a view to taking them back up to the Scottish Premiership at the first time of asking following a disastrous relegation.

Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs keeps an eye on training. Picture: SNS

Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs keeps an eye on training. Picture: SNS

A more long-standing task awaited in returning the William Hill Scottish Cup to Leith for the first time since 1902.

After losing two finals in the last three years, a semi-final place is at stake this year against Scottish League Two’s second-bottom team, Berwick Rangers, at Easter Road on Sunday, with the home side are expected to take another step closer to a concluding a quest that has lasted 113 years to date.

Stubbs said: “It is as if you are looking for the Holy Grail. The FA Cup and the Scottish Cup are the same, they are steeped in history.

“I have heard quite a bit about it but what I will say is that it will change one day.

It is as if you are looking for the Holy Grail. The FA Cup and the Scottish Cup are the same, they are steeped in history.

Alan Stubbs

“That is inevitable. Whether it is this year, one year, 10 years, 20, 30, it will change one day.

“As long as you are still in it, you can still dream that this could be the year.

“The players are aware of it. There are lads here who are Hibs fans and players who weren’t aware of it but are aware of it now.

“I am the same as the players. The further you go and the closer you get, you start to think ‘is this the year?’

“We are no different and while you are in it, you always have a chance.”

The former Bolton, Everton and Celtic defender knows his side, beaten once in 90 minutes since September and sitting second in the Scottish Championship, are firm favourites.

However, after watching several cup shocks north and south of the border this season - such as Bradford coming from two behind to beat Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup - he remains wary,

“I would like to go into any game as favourites,” said the Hibees boss.

“We are rightly the favourites but we have seen in cup competitions that it sometimes counts for nothing.

“Unless we do what we have been doing over the last four or five months you run the risk of a shock and we have seen shocks this season, probably more so than the last few years and when you say shocks, they were big shocks.

“So we don’t need any reminders of the pitfalls.

“We are at home on Sunday, it is the team we all wanted to get - as did all the other teams in the draw - but we still have a job to do.”

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