Why defeating Celtic means more than a trophy for Hibs and Jake Doyle-Hayes

Hibs will be playing for more than silverware when they face up to Celtic in the Premier Sports Cup final at Hampden on Sunday, according to midfielder Jake Doyle-Hayes.

Jake Doyle-Hayes. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

Following the sacking of Jack Ross, interim manager David Gray will oversee proceedings at the national stadium but with a new permanent gaffer expected to take over soon, every member of the squad knows that they are playing for their place in the team under the new management.

“Everyone is in the same position,” said the Irishman, who, like many of his team-mates, recently signed a contract extension. “It doesn’t matter if you signed a new contract or not. A new manager is going to come in and you are going to have to impress.

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“There are people who haven’t been playing recently who are hungry to play and are coming for your position. You have to be at the top of your game all the time to stay in your place.”

But, earning a major trophy at the expense of Celtic would be a good way to showcase ability.

“Yeah, a winners medal would definitely be a good place to start. 100 per cent. I’d love to get my hands on one – for all the fans and the family I have coming over. It would be a really good experience.

“I played in a few finals back in Ireland when I was younger but nothing that compares to this. It’s something I’m really looking forward to.

Last season he was part of a St Mirren squad that reached two semi finals but he was suspended for one of them, and was ousted by St Johnstone in the other.

“They were still good experiences even though they were behind closed doors. But it was a bit different in this year’s semi final against Rangers. It’s great when the fans are behind you.

“We’re all excited and raring to go. I’ve never experienced a cup final before. I’m really eager to soak in everything on the day. I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere that will be inside the stadium. Hopefully I’ll get my hands on my first silverware.

“We’ve got a good mixture of experienced lads, some who haven’t been in this situation before. I think that’s good for us. We’re all ready to go.”

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