Jake Doyle-Hayes insists Hibernian will be “ready for the fight” as they target revenge on Hearts in Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.
The Easter Road side have come under fire this week after a meek capitulation in the second half of their 3-1 defeat away to the Jambos in the cinch Premiership last weekend. That result consigned Hibs to the bottom six and allowed Hearts to clinch third place.
There is an immediate chance for Shaun Maloney’s team to get some redemption, however, as they prepare to lock horns with their city rivals once more on Saturday in an Edinburgh derby that is huge for both clubs. Doyle-Hayes is adamant there will be a strong Hibs response.
“There was massive disappointment from the last game,” said the midfielder. “We know the second half wasn’t good enough. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what went wrong.
“We know it was nowhere near good enough for a Hibs team, especially in a derby but we’ve got a chance to put it right and we’re all relishing that opportunity.
“Everyone this week in training has been buzzing for the game. It’s been really good. Everyone’s ready for the fight on Saturday.
“We’ve got a team that are going to fight for each other. We’ve had talks about what went wrong and what we could have done better. We believe we can go and put on a good performance and get the job done.”
Doyle-Hayes believes Hibs have enough resolve within their dressing room to want to put things right this weekend.
“We’ve got boys with strong personalities and mentality in that changing room,” he said. “We know we can get in there and fight and we can also play and have nice possession.
“It’s a semi-final, it’s a derby, these are the games you want to be involved in so everybody’s buzzing for it.”
Doyle-Hayes believes Hibs can take heart from their run in the Premier Sports Cup earlier this season, when they lost narrowly to Celtic in the final after beating Rangers in the semi-final while cast as underdogs.
“That was an amazing day and everyone wants to have those moments in their career,” he said, recalling the 3-1 win over the Ibrox side in November. “Hopefully we can do the same on Saturday and get to another final.
“We’ve got guys in there with massive experience in cup competitions and we’ve got staff who have been involved in big games. We’re a good team and we showed that in the last cup run we had. We need to try and replicate that.”