Hibernian go into Saturday’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen on Saturday pressure-free, according to their former boss Alan Stubbs.
The Englishman guided the Easter Road side to their first win in the competition in 114 years last season before departing to take over at Rotherham.
His successor, Neil Lennon, clinched the Ladbrokes Championship last week to secure top-flight football for the Leith club following a three-year absence.
Stubbs believes that achievement, as well as Hibs’ recent record against Premiership clubs in cup games – they have beaten the Dons, Hearts and St Johnstone amongst others – means they will be more relaxed than the Pittodrie men, whose last Scottish Cup final win was in 1990.
Stubbs, speaking at the John Hartson Foundation Golf Day at Mar Hall on the outskirts of Glasgow, said: “All the pressure is on Aberdeen on Saturday.
“Hibs have achieved their main target this season in promotion, and even though they are the cup holders, it is a free shot.
“Nobody is really expecting Hibs to come through the game.
“Aberdeen are the favourites going into it.
“It has the makings of a very good, close game. But the one thing in Hibs’ favour is that a lot of Premiership teams will fear playing them because they know what they have done against Premiership teams.
“I think they have lost only once, in 120 minutes (Dundee United), when they have played Premiership teams in the last three years.
“So it is an impressive record and I know if I was the opposition manager I would be very wary of that.”
Stubbs only lasted until October at Rotherham but insists he has enjoyed watching Hibs fight their way out of the second tier at last.
He said: “It has been great. There is no thoughts of ‘I wish it was me’ or anything like that.
“You make decisions in life and you live by them.
“I am delighted for everybody that is involved there because I know all the hard work done to get to this stage.
“It was never going to be a quick fix. They have put all the right structures in place and I think now they will come through it a much better and much stronger club.
“Lenny has continued things and put his own stamp on things. I am delighted for the players, I know they have put a lot of hard work in and they deserve it.”
The Hartson Foundation is on course to raise £1million for charities.