Hibernian manager Shaun Maloney believes his side need to use the feelings from last weekend’s defeat against Hearts to spur them to victory over their rivals in the Scottish Cup semi-finals.
Last Saturday’s Premiership clash at Tynecastle saw Hearts come back from a goal down to beat Hibs 3-1, consigning Maloney’s team to the bottom six in the final match before the split.
The teams meet at Hampden on Saturday lunchtime and with the most recent meeting still fresh in the memory, Maloney believes underdogs Hibs have to use that as “fuel”.
“I think you have to remember what happened last weekend and why we got beat,” the Hibs boss said. “And we have to make sure that there’s certain things in that game that we have to do differently.
“You have to use the actual feeling of getting beat and the celebrations after and during. That has to be the fuel for this weekend, next weekend, next season.
“We have to, we have to make sure that we don’t feel like we did last weekend.”
Maloney appeared to be irked by Hearts’ reaction to their win at Tynecastle.
“How they celebrate, how they celebrate a win is up to them,” he said. “We have certain values at our club that we won’t be going into any game overly confident.
“I do believe that if we change some things of our performance last weekend that will go into this game that I believe we can win.
“And that’s our only focus. It has to be on us.”
Hearts have already earned a place in European football next season on the strength of their league campaign but know that reaching the Scottish Cup final would ensure group stage football in the Conference League at the very worst.
Maloney said that progressing to face Celtic or Rangers to battle for the Scottish Cup wouldn’t just make the story of Hibs’ season look a lot brighter, it would also see Hearts’ campaign take on a different light.
“We have to see if we can sustain the way we played in the first 25 to 30 minutes [at Tynecastle],” he said.
“In the last three or four months I’ve been here, we have seen those moments but it is up to us to show we can sustain it.
“If we do that, we can really shape the narrative of the season. We can also shape the narrative of our opponents’ season – and Hearts will know that.”