Kevin Harper says he’d happily see Hibs being eliminated from the Scottish Cup after beating Hearts if it meant sealing promotion to the Premiership.
Hibs haven’t won the since Scottish Cup since 1902 and are mercilessly teased by their city rivals over their lengthy wait for Cup success.
However, the former Hibs midfielder, who was speaking in the build up to the replay at Easter Road on Tuesday, says he’d be content to see the wait for the Scottish Cup continue after dumping Hearts out of the tournament if it meant promotion to the top flight.
“To be in the Championship for another season I think it would be really difficult for the club,” he said. “I’d want to get promotion rather than the Scottish Cup but that’s after beating Hearts.
“There will be other chances to win the Scottish Cup.
“But it’s a huge thing for Hibs. They’ve been to finals and are yet to win it this century.
“Alan Stubbs has built a fantastic side. Were they to win it this season or any other season then the players who win that Cup will go down in history.”
Paul Hanlon’s last-minute equaliser rescued a replay for Hibs after they fought back from two goals down at Tynecastle and now Harper believes they are the driving seat to book their place in the quarter-finals against Inverness CT.
“At 2-0 up you thought Hearts were going to cruise to win it, but I think it shows the desire, the ability and the belief this current Hibs team have.
“They’re never defeated. And there’s no better way to earn a replay than to score last minute.
“It shows Hibs can compete with Hearts at every level.
“Hearts are doing really well in the league as are Hibs in the Championship but I think it just shows that the two teams should be in the top division. That’s the games you want, miss and want to be involved in.
“Obviously Hearts have got the advantage of not playing on Saturday.
“I think that’s a big advantage but it’s at Easter Road and Hibs will have the crowd and it will be rocking.
“Home advantage is always a huge thing and I think Hibs will have a slight edge because it’s at Easter Road.”