Nothing to lose against Hibs, says Kevin Cuthbert

HAMILTON keeper Kevin Cuthbert has warned Hibernian to expect a red and white torrent on Sunday - because Accies have nothing to lose.
Hamilton goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert. Picture: Johnston PressHamilton goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert. Picture: Johnston Press
Hamilton goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert. Picture: Johnston Press

The Championship runners-up head into the second leg of their Scottish Premiership play-off final trailing 2-0.

But while Hibernian have the advantage for now, they face a tricky choice between holding on to what they have or pushing on and trying to increase their lead.

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Cuthbert, though, attempted to crank up the mind games by reminding Terry Butcher’s team - smiling after ending a run of 13 games without victory - that it is their top-flight status which is still at risk.

The 31-year-old said: “Like any cup tie, form can go out the window so we haven’t spoken much about Hibs’ recent results.

“If you went with the form book, most people would have expected us to win the other night but Hibs did.

“We’re just focusing on ourselves right now. We’re the ones going for promotion rather than having to stave off relegation. We know we can go all out for the win because we have nothing to lose.

“If we don’t get the result, we will be disappointed but nothing will change for this club.

“The team from the Premiership, though, has a lot at stake if they don’t win.

“Hopefully if we can get an early chance we can take it and crank up the pressure on Hibs.”

Teenage striker Jason Cummings netted twice for the visitors to New Douglas Park on Wednesday to give the Leith side the advantage.

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But the 18-year-old’s first strike seemed to catch Cuthbert unawares as it flew straight over his head into the net.

“He took me a bit by surprise with how well he hit it,” admitted the former St Johnstone stopper. “There was a bit of movement on the ball but sometimes these things happen.

“Maybe I should have done a bit better with it but I’m not going to worry about it too much - you can’t save everything.”

Cuthbert was just 19 when he made his senior debut for Saints back in September 2001.

The Perth side were relegated the following summer and Cuthbert has spent the 13 years since trying to fight his way back to the top flight.

But he has hit back at claims from some pundits that Wednesday night’s defeat proves the gap between the two divisions is widening.

He said: “It’s easy to sit and be critical on the back of one game. But we have already beaten Kilmarnock this season, while Morton beat Celtic.

“So there is definitely not too much between the bottom end of the SPL and the top of the Championship.

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“As for Sunday’s game, we had just come off a tough game against Falkirk while Hibs had 10 days’ rest. But I’m confident that if we took the current Hamilton team into the Premiership, we’d more than hold our own.”