sport

Fenlon focusing on Hearts

The pain of last season's Scottish Cup final loss has been forgotten by Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon ahead of Sunday's clash with Hearts.

Top-flight clubs enter the competition for the first time this weekend, with May's finalists drawn together, when Hearts won 5-1 on a woeful day for Hibs.

The statistics are stacked up against Hibs, whose most recent win over Hearts was in May 2009, 12 games ago, and who last won the trophy in 1902. But Fenlon is focused only on the future.

"It's not in my mind," said Fenlon, when questioned on the May 19 showpiece which ended in misery for Hibs and with the Irishman sent to the stand for an offensive gesture. "There's been a massive changeover, probably with both clubs.

"Our goal is to get through to the next round of the cup. We can't do anything about what's gone by over a period of time but we can affect what's coming ahead.

"The important thing is to try to affect the game on Sunday in a positive manner."

Hibs rose to second place in the Scottish Premier League after responding from successive defeats to Dundee and Aberdeen with a 1-0 victory at St Johnstone last night, when Hearts were beaten 4-0 by leaders Celtic.

Immediately attention in the away dressing room at McDiarmid Park turned to Sunday's eagerly-anticipated derby, the second of the season following a 1-1 draw in August.

"It was in the back of the mind a little bit, but it's definitely a focus from this morning," Fenlon added.

Hibs last won a capital clash three and a half years ago.

Fenlon knows the run must come to an end soon and hopes this weekend is that time.

He added: "They've been in the ascendancy for the last three or four seasons. There's reasons for that.

"Every dog has their day, so things will change. I'm sure we've had a period of time where we were in the ascendancy.

"You just have to take that at times and try to improve it. That's what we're trying to do this weekend, trying to improve our record against them."

Hibs will have an unchanged squad from the win in Perth, meaning captain James McPake (back), defender Tim Clancy (groin) and midfielder Gary Deegan (jaw) remain out, while Pa Kujabi, who has been a fringe player this season, is suspended following his dismissal at Hampden.

It means only three players who started at the national stadium - Paul Hanlon, Lewis Stevenson and Leigh Griffiths - are likely to be involved on Sunday.