Hibernian midfielder Dylan McGeouch reckons the club’s William Hill Scottish Cup triumph can help them keep hold of boss Alan Stubbs and his top performers.
The Leith men put 114 years of cup misery behind them on Saturday when they claimed the trophy with a thrilling 3-2 win over Rangers.
The Hampden triumph - which booked their place in next season’s Europa League qualifiers - also soothed the pain of the club’s failed promotion bid.
Stuck for another 12 months in the second tier, there has been speculation that Stubbs and sought-after stars such as John McGinn and Jason Cummings could be tempted away from Easter Road.
But now McGeouch believes Hibs can build for the future under their current manager, with solid foundations already in place in the dressing room.
He said: “It’s been a long wait for the fans. Everyone has been telling us for the last few months leading up to the final how much it means to the people.
“It’s great that we are going into Europe now and we can get a few away trips with the fans. It’s something to look forward to.
“It can definitely help us keep hold of our top players. Obviously having European football will help too as well as being part of the team that lifted the cup after so long.
“We will have a few weeks off and recover then see where the new season takes us.
“I hope the manager stays. I’ve loved every minute of being at Hibs with him. He gave me my chance, I’ve played when fit. I love playing under him and I hope he doesn’t leave but time will tell.”
McGeouch was caught up in the shameful scenes that engulfed the National Stadium after the final whistle.
He revealed he chose to stand with close friend and Gers midfielder Andy Halliday while celebrating Hibs fans flooded onto the turf.
Fights broke out when rival Rangers supporters also ran onto the playing surface, while chunks of the pitch were ripped up and a set of goalposts broken by the Edinburgh faithful.
However, he insists the controversy that has followed the match will not spoil the biggest day in the club’s history.
Asked if the scenes at the end had taken a gloss of the player’s achievement, he said: “I don’t think the players are really that bothered. You saw the celebrations in the dressing room afterwards.
“Saturday was all about lifting that cup. It’s going to be one of those ‘Where were you moments’.
“It’s up to the club to sort out what happened at the end - the boys were just happy to get their hands on the cup.
“It was a bit crazy to be honest. I was getting pushed and shoved about. I saw a lot of grown men crying their eyes out on the pitch.
“It was great we can do that to them. It’s been a long wait for the fans but it’s great we got there in the end.
“I didn’t really see any [of the crowd trouble] to be honest. Someone mentioned it to me afterwards but I just hope no-one was harmed.
“I understand that people were excited and wanted to get on the pitch and remember the day.
“I spoke to a few of the Rangers players after. I’m good friends with Andy Halliday and I stood beside him on the halfway line. There was a few fans running about and he was with standing with the referee. I stood beside him to make sure nobody did anything.
“Kenny Miller also came into the dressing room to congratulate us. That was a class act.
“I didn’t see any of the trouble though so I’d prefer to keep myself out of all that. It’s not up to me whether it’s embarrassing or not.”
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