I could make a case that the Hibs dressing room has a feeling of empowerment that belies their lowly position. Whatever happened when Leeann Dempster and Neil Lennon agreed the latter would leave his position as Hibs manager, the dressing room was almost certainly an active component in the process. The same players now have Paul Heckingbottom to contend with, and you do not need prophesising skills to know that Paul will soon leave in a similar manner to Neil Lennon.
When players have an influence on the manager’s position, they also decide when they want to put a shift in. A home game against Livingston might not get the juices flowing, until embarrassment kicks in, but a Hampden semi-final will. Hibs players are choosing their battles.
Tomorrow is a big test for Celtic, the 30th domestic cup game since our last elimination. Sure, we are better than the rest, but still, the uneven distribution of chances, goals, red cards, freak events and honest mistakes, means that such runs are statistically very unlikely.
I would rather be cautious than flamboyant tomorrow. Get through the game without tackles that risk a Christie-Livingston-type red card, or that denies Hibs space inside our box that can result in an Inverness or Ross County-type semi-final penalty.
We have won 12 games at Hampden on the bounce, without the need for extra-time or penalties. It is our home-from-home, we have the game intelligence succeed, so let’s get to the final.