If an ability to treat triumph and disaster just the same really is a mark of being a man, then Fraser Fyvie, still only 23, is mature beyond his years.
His bittersweet experiences with Wigan Athletic three years ago ultimately left a sour taste in his mouth. But this time he hopes Hibs are able to end a disappointing season on a high note. It was the other way around at Wigan. FA Cup winners on the Saturday, relegated from the Premier League the following Tuesday.
Fyvie, barely out of his teenage years, was also forced to come to terms with being robbed of the chance to appear in an FA Cup final by Ben Watson’s 90th-minute winner against Manchester City.
As soon as the decisive header hit the net in the dying moments, Fyvie, on his feet in preparation to come on, was told by manager Roberto Martinez to sit down again.
He never made it on to the park until the celebrations. It wasn’t the worst way to spend a Saturday. But he stresses how much more satisfying it would have been to know he had contributed, even in some small way, to the success.
It meant he felt the disappointment at being injured for Hibs’ League Cup final loss to Ross County in March all the more acutely. But a winner’s medal combined with some active involvement against Rangers in Saturday’s Scottish Cup final would provide more than adequate compensation.
“Even though I never got on the pitch, it was some experience,” reflected Fyvie, with reference to Wembley . “We went from the ultimate high to such a low – it would be nice to do it the other way around here, of course. I was stripped and ready to go on at Wembley. I took my top off, he [Martinez] went through the set-pieces with me, we scored – and he just said: ‘Sit back down’.”
“I have no idea who I was supposed to be replacing. We hadn’t even got to that point yet. As soon as we scored, I sat straight back down. It was funny, to be honest. It obviously would have been nice to get on the pitch on a great occasion like that.”
Although they and Manchester City were both in the same league, Wigan were far heavier underdogs than Hibs are on Saturday. But Fyvie emphasises that despite two wins in four league meetings against Rangers, the Easter Road side are still exactly that – underdogs.
“We’re talking about Rangers Football Club here,” he said. “We’re talking about a club that’s won so many trophies over the years and had so many great players. They’re a good side now with very good players. They’re a fantastic team. The way they play football is great. It’s hard to play against.”
Of course, Fyvie is possibly still conscious how some comments of his were interpreted prior to the Falkirk play-off, when he suggested Hibs had more “big game players” than their opponents.
He was also involved in a spat in December with Rangers’ Andy Halliday, which saw the Ibrox midfielder sent off for supposedly striking the Hibs player.
Fyvie later received a two-match ban for simulation.
“I spoke to him after the last game at Easter Road,” said Fyvie. “It’s not something that I really want to discuss.
“There is not a problem between me and Andy. I said what I needed to say to him. He’s a good lad and I’ll be looking forward to playing against him on Saturday.”
In order to secure the happy ending Fyvie and others crave, Hibs will have to produce something special. The midfielder recalled Callum McManaman’s performances against Manchester City as being one of the significant differences between the sides that day.
Fyvie is sure one of his Hibs’ stars can rise to the occasion like McManaman. He is equally certain Alan Stubbs has something up his sleeve, as Martinez proved he did.
“Nobody gave us a chance, everyone thought Manchester City would turn up and win the game,” he recalled. “But the manager came up with a strategy on the day that was unbelievable.
“And it worked to a tee on the day. I have never seen Gael Cllichy ever so scared of a winger in my life.
“Callum McManaman that day, that’s the best performance up to this day from a guy I have played with. He gave Clichy a hard time and you’re talking about a French international, a fantastic player.”
Having experienced an FA Cup final, Fyvie can’t wait to sample a Scottish Cup final from the pitch.
An Aberdeen fan as a boy, he thinks he went to one against Rangers in 2000. “Did they get beat 4-0 or something? I was at that game! Robbie Winters went in goal? I was at that one. My dad took me. I am pretty sure I was at that game, I can’t completely mind...”
Only a seven-year old boy then, he has since become a man.