Blessed relief if Hibs can lay Cup bogey, says Darren Jackson

IT IS the milestone that has become a millstone for Hibernian supporters. The landmark in the club's history that is now more a cause of embarrassment than pride.

In 1902, great things were expected of the Hibs side which won the Scottish Cup for the second time in the club's history. Those expectations were realised, at least in part, when the team went on to win the league championship the following year, and in the century and a bit since its successors have added another three titles to the club's roll of honour.

Three League Cups have also been won, most recently under John Collins in 2007, but a third Scottish Cup victory has yet to materialise.

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Discussion of this unwanted record now crops up every January, and Darren Jackson for one thinks it is time the talking stopped. The former Hibs striker, who also turned out for Hearts, Celtic and Meadowbank Thistle among other clubs, would like nothing better than to see John Hughes bring the long barren run to an end this season.

"It's brought up every year," Jackson said. "It's an absolute sin that they have not won it, being such a big club.

"The fans go through this every year. You would like it put to bed and, for Yogi, it would be nice for him to achieve it."

Jackson was speaking at Edinburgh's Meadowbank Stadium, the first stop in the Active Nation Scottish Cup trophy tour. Having been given a home draw against junior side Irvine Meadow in this year's fourth round, Hibs could hardly hope for a better start to their campaign, and Jackson does not see why the current squad should feel burdened by their predecessors' lack of success in the competition.

"When I was at Hibs, I didn't actually feel more pressure trying to win the Scottish Cup. It was just one of these things that never happened.

"The guys who win the Scottish Cup, well, it's like Craig Brewster at Dundee United – he will always be the player who won the cup for them. Whoever does it for Hibs will always be remembered."

Like many others, Jackson has been encouraged by the progress Hibs have made under Hughes this season, but thinks they may need to strengthen their squad this month if they are to stay within touching distance of Rangers and Celtic at the top of the SPL.

"I'm not saying Hibs will win the league, but they do have a chance of challenging, because they've got a good side. Yogi won't let their heads go down. If they can maybe freshen it up a bit with one or two signings, that helps.

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"They maybe need a bit dominant centre-half. They've got Sol Bamba but they need a guy like Rob Jones, who wasn't great passing the ball but was going to win everything that came in.

"I like Paul Hanlon, they've got Ian Murray there, and Chris Hogg has come back and done a good job. The young boy Darren McCormack was silly yesterday (McCormack was sent off in the Edinburgh derby along with Ruben Palazuelos of Hearts) but that's just lack of experience.

"They maybe need an experienced right-back as well. His (Hughes] signings have been great, guys like Anthony Stokes and Liam Miller, who have maybe gone off the rails elsewhere."