Hibs v Cove Rangers: Lewis Stevenson out to avoid repeat of 'rollicking' he got last time sides met

Lewis Stevenson’s status as the only Hibs player ever to have won both the League Cup and the Scottish Cup is well-known but he is greedy for more and, at 34, he doesn’t want time to rob him of something more notable than if, buts, and maybes.

Lewis Stevenson says Hibs will not underestimate Cove Rangers after being run close last season. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

A club with an enviable record of making it to the latter stages of the domestic knock-out competitions in recent times, they are seeking to extend their run of five consecutive semi finals or finals which spans both major cup contests. The most recent being this season’s final defeat to Celtic, last month.

Stretching back even further than that, in the past 10 years they have progressed to the final four, or even better in the Scottish Cup seven times, winning it once.

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But, Stevenson is taking nothing for granted, aware that every tie could be his last if high standards are not met.

“Totally. Four semi-finals ago I thought it might be my last time at Hampden. I managed to get there quite a lot since but you never know when it’s going to be your last chance so I have to make the most of it.

“It is good to go on a run because it can give the fans a good day out and bring in money to the club. But as players it’s that last bit, winning the cup, that you are remembered for. I’m sure teams see us as a big dog and know we want to go on a good cup run, but we take nothing for granted.”

This season they face high-flying Cove Rangers in their Scottish Cup opener and having met them in the League Cup last term, and struggled to eke out a 2-1 win, no-one who played that day anticipates a carefree evening.

“They are flying just now. Maybe I’m speaking too soon, but it looks as if they’ve already got the league wrapped up. We played them last year and we were lucky to win the game to be honest. They were the better team in my opinion. It was a good win in the end for us. I think they’ve improved since then. It is going to be a tough game and is not one we are underestimating.

“The boys who played will let the ones who didn’t know how tough it is going to be. They don’t just have good individual players, tactically I thought they were very good. But, we have probably improved since then as well.

“The manager back then [Jack Ross] said the first-half was the worst half of football he had been involved in. I got a bit of a rollicking that day. But we probably play a different style now to what we did before.”

But having come so close, Stevenson says Hibs have to demonstrate their ability to get the job done in the early rounds and then show a more clinical edge if they get another chance to lift silverware.

“We have had great runs in the cups recently, but it is almost like you build yourself up for a greater fall. It is that next step that we need to take. But we will face that hurdle when it comes. We need to focus on Cove at the moment.”

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