Fenlon seeks final reward for Hibs star

PA Sport
Pat Fenlon
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Pat Fenlon

Manager Pat Fenlon hopes Hibernian can advance to the William Hill Scottish Cup final with victory over Aberdeen to reward Lewis Stevenson for his performances this season.

Midfielder Stevenson has been one of the few bright points of a campaign when Hibs have flirted with - and are still not safe from - relegation from the Clydesdale Bank Premier League. The 24-year-old is suspended for the semi-final clash as Hibs attempt to finish their season on a high by advancing to the Scottish Cup final on May 19.

"It's a blow. I'm disappointed for Lewis," Fenlon said. "He's been very, very good since I came in. The yellow card he got in Ayr (during the quarter-final) was ridiculous - it was impossible to get out of the way. We just have to deal with it. Hopefully we can get to the final for him and we can bring him back into the equation for that."

While SPL survival is the overriding priority, Fenlon appreciates Scottish Cup success for the first time in 110 years would be a major fillip for Hibs. A win at Inverness and a draw with Motherwell has seen Hibs take a seven-point lead over Dunfermline with five games to play in the battle to avoid the drop.

Fenlon was pleased talk could turn to more positive issues in the cup.

"It is a little bit more relaxing, even though there's a massive prize at stake," said Fenlon, who won cups in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland before moving to Easter Road last November.

"If we can stay in the league, which is the main goal, and get to a cup final then it makes the season look a lot better."

While much is made about Hibs' barren streak in the competition dating back to 1902, plus the prospect of an Edinburgh derby in the final if Hearts beat Celtic on Sunday, Fenlon is focused solely on Aberdeen.

"It's important we don't get too focused on winning the Scottish Cup - it's about winning the semi-final," he added.

"It's really important we focus on the job in hand. It's a massive game for us and there are a lot of prizes at stake."

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