Aberdeen game has been in the back of Neil Lennon’s mind since semi-final draw
Hibs’ Head Coach Neil Lennon has revealed that tomorrow’s game against Aberdeen has been in the back of his mind ever since his players beat Ayr United in the quarter finals.
When the draw was made, Hibs’ supporters have been hoping that the Championship title would be wrapped up by the time the game was played and they got their wish last weekend when a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Queen of the South secured a return to the top flight.
In reality, Hibs should have won the league several weeks ago but Lennon insists that the competitive nature of the recent fixtures will stand his players in good stead tomorrow.
He also praised the contribution of the supporters who have so far bought 19,000 tickets and believes that their relationship with the players will be beneficial in their bid to retain the trophy.
Speaking ahead of the game, Lennon told Hibernian TV: “Ever since we qualified for the semi-final it’s been in the back of my mind so I am very excited. On the back of winning the Championship it’s been a really nice week.
“I think the players are excited too. We have eased down on the training as we have a lot of games and we will have lot of work to do on Saturday.
“Obviously we would have like to wrap up the title a bit sooner but it’s been good that our games have had a competitive edge.
“Now we have another big game ahead of us, defending the trophy. I think we have been outstanding in the cup. all the games we have played, they have been really at it and we are going to need more of that on Saturday.
“This will probably be the toughest game task we have had in the competition. Aberdeen have been very consistent. they have had a great season and reached the League Cup final.
“They have improved year after year under Derek (McInnes) so outwith Celtic it’s as hard a game as we could have got.
“We are a Premiership team now and we can carry that into out game on Saturday and we will have no fear.
“The experience last year at Hampden, not just in the Scottish Cup but also in the League Cup is fresh in the players’ minds so there will be nothing new for them.
“I have had some great moments at Hampden and some difficult ones as well. It’s a great stadium and by all accounts the pitch is in very good condition which will suit both teams. Hopefully the game will be open which will suit us as well.
“There is a great bond between the players and the fans at the minute and the players love it and the big Hibs’ support will stand us in good stead on Saturday. I think the fans are enjoying what they are seeing and there is a great pride around the club.”