- Thursday, 17 May 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Gambia-international Pa Saikou Kujabi has hopes of winning his first trophy in Scottish football when his Premier League side Hibernian FC will meet Edinburgh rivals Hearts at Hampden Park on Saturday.
Manager Pat Fenlon has told his Hibernian team to focus on Saturday’s final, rather than ending the club’s 110-year wait for Scottish Cup success. Hibs play rivals Hearts in the Scottish Cup showpiece in the first all-Edinburgh final since 1896.
Fenlon, who took charge in November, said: “It’s my first attempt to get through the Scottish Cup and we’ve got to the final at the first attempt. It gives us a great opportunity. We’re 90 minutes from ending that, but there's a big obstacle in front of us.”
“We’ve just got to make sure that that’s what we focus on and not all the other hype that goes with it. We can’t change what’s gone on previously, but we can change it come Saturday.”
Pa Saikou Kubaji’s Hibs are winless against Hearts in 10 attempts and last won an Edinburgh derby in May 2009. That statistic is another Fenlon is aiming to change. The Irishman said: “They’ve been better for three years, but that’s not something I can control. We’ve just got to try to change that over a period of time and a great way to start would be this weekend.”
Fenlon, who took Hibs to Dublin earlier this week to prepare for the game, has selected his side for Hampden. He added: “We know the team, the players know the team. It’s been a good build-up.”
Winning the Scottish cup would give Fenlon the chance to pit his wits in Europe where he has plenty of experience from his time with Bohemians and Shelbourne in particular. He led Shels to the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round back in 2004 only to be defeated by Deportivo La Coruna.
“If we could win and get to Europe that would help the finances and also help to attract players. The fact that I’m used to Europe, it would be great to get back, even if we finished second last in the league.”
“To win (the final), we’re going to have to play really well. We’re underdogs, but that can play on people’s minds when they are expected to win,” he added.
Hibernian have won two Scottish Cups (in 1887 and 1902), and been beaten in nine finals (in 1896, 1914, 1923, 1924, 1947, 1958, 1972, 1979 and 2001).