A VICTORY over Hearts on Wednesday would take Pat Fenlon to within one match of a third cup final in just over two years at Hibs, yet the last time the capital duo met up, the only silverware preoccupying the minds of the Easter Road fans was the salver they wanted the Irishman’s head served up on.
Hearts won 1-0 that day and, on the back of a 9-0 aggregate European humbling by Malmo and defeat to Motherwell on the opening day of the Premiership campaign, it made it four losses on the bounce and four games without scoring a goal.
The grapevine suggested that the manager may have been on his way out. Not that it weighed him down.
“I don’t look at things like that,” said Fenlon. “It’s a privilege to manage the club and that [being sacked] will happen one day. There is not much you can do about it, whether you think about it or not, that day will come for us all.
“You have to do as much as you can while you’re here. When you’re on a bad run, it’s about how you can influence that to change it. I always believed we had a real good squad and it was getting them to gel and getting the pattern of play right and getting them to settle down and adding one or two more to it. It was going to take time but it was a disappointing start.”
Since that sorry sequence, things have turned around and, in the nine games that followed the derby, the Leith side lost just once and the Hibs manager believes they can edge closer to another cup final on Wednesday. “It’s a massive game, a quarter-final which adds a little bit but it probably doesn’t need anything added,” he said. “We’re confident at the moment. There’s a chance here to go and win something.”