Jack Ross insists that he and his team ‘completely understand the significance’ of tomorrow’s Betfred League Cup semi-final against St Johnstone at Hampden and has urged the players to learn from the pain of the defeat to Hearts earlier in the season.
Victory would mean a place in the final against on-form Livingston or St Mirren and provide a great chance of lifting silverware.
The teams have played each other twice this season with a 2-2 draw at Easter Road in November, and a stoppage-time penalty from Stevie Mallan gave Hibs a league win at McDiarmid Park in August.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference Ross told BBC Scotland: “One of the clear ambitions we’ve had this campaign is to win silverware, so we have put expectancy on ourselves. Now we are in another semi-final it’s about another step towards achieving that ambition.
“The record in reaching semi-finals is terrific but it’s about getting to the next stage. We completely understand the significance of this game. It is huge and the players are really excited.
“The first thing is to not have that feeling we had back then (against Hearts in the Scottish Cup semi-final) It hurts and it’s sore. That may sound very obvious, the rawness of that is felt very acutely by those that are involved at the coal face. We want to have the elation of reaching the final and that’s a big driver.
“We have had that experience of playing in the national stadium. The few people in the stadium are so far away and there is no noise whatsoever. It’s slightly eerie but we have experienced it.”
Goalkeeper Ofir Marciano and midfielders Joe Newell and Kyle Magennis are fit whilst new arrivals Jackson Irvine and Chris Cadden featured in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Kilmarnock and will be in the squad.
Long term absentee Scott Allan will also be in the squad.