Lawrence Shankland declared Sunday’s Viaplay Cup semi-final showdown with Rangers a “win at all costs” encounter as he looked forward to his first trip to Hampden with Hearts.
The Jambos skipper began his senior career playing regularly at the national stadium when he spent time on loan at Queen’s Park more than a decade ago, while he has also represented Scotland there.
The 28-year-old’s only experience of a big cup match at Hampden came when he played in Dundee United’s 2-0 defeat to Hibernian in the 2021 Scottish Cup semi-final – a result that still irks him.
Shankland is hoping his previous experiences at the famous old ground in Glasgow’s southside can help him reach the first major final of his career this weekend.
“It will be great to lead the team out at Hampden, I’m really looking forward to that part and hopefully we can get ourselves to a final,” he said.
“Last time I was at Hampden I was at Dundee United and we lost in a semi-final and that still annoys me. It’s my first experience going with Hearts and it’s one I’m looking forward to.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play there quite a lot in my career with Scotland and at club level as well so it’s a stadium I’m used to. Quite a lot of the boys have got the experience before of being at Hampden so hopefully we can use that on the day.”
Asked to sum up what is required from Hearts on Sunday, Shankland said: “Win at all costs. That’s it for us. The task is simple. It’s a big occasion at the national stadium and it’s just all about winning.”
Hearts face Rangers a week after they almost beat them in the cinch Premiership. The Jambos led 1-0 for most of the match and looked on course for a rare Ibrox victory before conceding two late goals to lose 2-1. Shankland believes that experience will stand them in good stead for Sunday.
“We’re coming off the back of a good performance at Ibrox last weekend, albeit the last 10 minutes didn’t go to plan,” he said.
“Apart from that it was really good and we can take the positives from that into this game. There was a lot to be happy with.
“Obviously the mistakes we made at the end were probably a reminder of how much you need to concentrate against teams as dangerous as Rangers.
“It takes full concentration for every minute you’re on the pitch so we can use last week as a reminder and make sure it’s in our heads at all points in the match.”
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