Hibs’ Head Coach Jack Ross is anticipating a tough game against on-form Queen of the South who beat Hearts at Tynecastle last weekend but he believes that his squad have a ‘hugely realistic’ opportunity to lift the trophy in May.

Ross took the opportunity to watch Queens’ last Saturday and he was impressed by their mixture of experienced players and youngsters but he insists that his side can compete with every other team in the country on their day.

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Scottish Premiership – Hibernian v Aberdeen. Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh, Midlothian, UK. 06/02/2021 Hibs play host to Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League at Easter road, Edinburgh. Pic shows: HibsÕ winger, Martin Boyle, is mobbed by teammates after scoring the opening goal for the home side from the penalty spot. Credit: Ian Jacobs

Speaking at the pre-match press conference ahead of the Scottish Cup tie Ross said: “We’ve tried to create a culture within the club since we came in about what we need to do consistently. One of those is where we have been in the league all season and we’ve not been out of the top four so that’s a starting point for us and second is to put ourselves in apposition to win a cup because that’s realistic and achievable.

“We’ve put ourselves in that position but not taken the next step and that’s something we want to try and put right. We think we have built a squad and a team that on their day are capable of competing with every team in the country.

“I managed to get to their game on Saturday (Hearts v Queen of the South) and I wasn’t surprised by the level of their performance. They have good experienced professionals and youngsters on loan who have been at bigger clubs in the past.

“They have an energy about their play and a confidence they have gained by recording such a result so we will be respectful. It will be a tough match but an exciting one for us.

The break has been good for players and staff to have a little bit of down time. I felt this week there has been a freshness about the players. This stage of the season could be incredibly busy or not so busy depending on how far we progress in the cup.

“We believe that we have a hugely realistic opportunity for us to go on and win it.

“There is a humility about this group but equally a focus about where we want to be this season.”

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