Stanton urges Hibs to enjoy moment

PA Sport
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Hibernian fans

Pat Stanton has urged Hibernian's class of 2012 to relish what could be a once in a lifetime experience in this weekend's William Hill Scottish Cup final against city rivals Hearts.

The Easter Road great experienced the highs and lows of the competition when he lost out in the final to Celtic in 1972, before winning the silverware in 1977 when he moved to the Hoops.

He said: "It's great when you win it and it's bitterly disappointing when you lose it. This time, it may be your nearest rivals but so what? Get on with it and enjoy the occasion. A lot of great players have never won a cup or even been in a cup final and these lads are and they've got the chance."

The stakes will be higher than ever as the two Edinburgh clubs prepare to do battle on Saturday but Stanton hopes those involved will be able to savour the occasion despite the pressure.

Stanton went on: "If Hearts win, it won't be the end of the world. It might seem like it for a week or two - but it's not the end of the world."

Hearts are unbeaten in the last 10 derby meetings between the two clubs.

But Stanton added: "It really shouldn't matter what has happened in those other derby games. It's another game, it's another day and it's a cup final. It's up to the Hibs players to make it different and change things. You can't argue with Hearts' results recently. Hearts have had the upper hand and rightly so, they have deserved it. But Saturday is another game."

Hibs are aiming to end a 110-year wait for the trophy and Stanton has some idea of the expectation that will be weighing heavily on the shoulders of the current crop of players having spent 13 years at Easter Road himself.

He said: "It's been going on for years. It will happen sometime and I'd like to be around to see it. There are people who I knew who are gone now and they never saw it. Who knows, with a wee bit of luck we might do it.

"I would be delighted for the players. I would be delighted for the manager, who has had a difficult time and who came here at a difficult time. And it would be great for the long-suffering fans."

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