Jack Ross says his Hibernian players are determined to use their recent Hampden heartache to ensure they come out on top when they take on Dundee United in the last four of the Scottish Cup on Saturday.
The semi-final will mark the third time in just over six months that Hibs have made the journey to the national stadium. But those visits made for unhappy experiences as they lost to city rivals Hearts in the delayed semi-final of last year’s Scottish Cup, then were beaten by St Johnstone in the last four of the League Cup.
Ross admits the pain from those defeats was deep but believes that can be a motivating factor as the team looks to the future.
“We’ve had the soreness of losing two semi-finals relatively close together, and the one thing that does do is gives you that acute reminder of what that feels like,” the Hibs head coach said. “It is painful and you’ve two choices in that regard: not want to go back there and avoid that feeling, or get back there to make sure you come out on the right side of it.
“We’ve got a group that’s fully determined to have that positive feeling in the aftermath of Saturday’s game.
“You can never affect anything that’s already gone. The only thing we can affect is each game ahead of us.
“We can affect the semi-final on Saturday in terms of the type of performance we produce. We can affect it in terms of the end result that we get from it. So that’s been the focus and anything that lies in the past we can’t do anything about now.
“We can only control what lies ahead and we’ve got the opportunity to do that at the weekend.”
Ross will be without suspended Alex Gogic for the semi-final, and Chris Cadden is out injured for the remainder of the season. However, Hibs will be able to call on Kevin Nisbet and Jamie Murphy.
The club was also handed a boost ahead of the game when goalkeeper Matt Macey signed a contract extension that keeps him at Easter Road until 2023.
“I am absolutely loving playing for Hibs,” said Macey.
“I feel like I’ve settled in really well and that’s a credit to the staff and the players.
“Everyone around the club made me feel comfortable and within two or three days, I played against Celtic.
“After a few training sessions I felt really happy and I’ve kicked on since.
“I’m enjoying it and I’m really happy.”
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