Hughes: I'll field my strongest team

06 January 2010 03:21
Hibs are overwhelming favourites to overcome the Super League Premier Division side in the fourth round on Saturday.

But manager Hughes, who began his playing career in the junior ranks, could not be approaching the match more seriously.

He has already had Irvine watched more than once and vowed to pick his strongest available line-up at Easter Road.

He told Hibernian TV: "I have a huge respect for the junior game here in Scotland. I started at that level myself with Newtongrange Star.

"I will be fielding my strongest team for this game; it's the Scottish Cup and, like everyone, we want to win it.

"I've watched Irvine Meadow several times and they have a number of players in their ranks with Scottish League experience and they will be no pushover.

"They are a big, hard-working side who will be treating this game as their cup final and will have a big support behind them.

"We may need to be patient as they may get men behind the ball to try and make it difficult for us to break them down.

"We may put the odd pass astray or miss the odd tackle. There may be spells in the game where they have the ball in our half.

"Patience is the key. That along with professionalism.

"We will give Irvine Meadow every respect. The fact that they have progressed this far in the competition tells you they are a decent side.

"We, however, are an SPL side, full-time, with our players training every day of the week.

"Their players, meanwhile, have to train in the evenings perhaps a couple of times a week after all their guys have finished up their full-time day jobs.

"So if we go about our business in a professional manner, we expect to win the match.

"As ever, I'd encourage our fans to come along and get behind the team again this Saturday as they've done so magnificently this season.

"It's the Scottish Cup. Everyone goes in with the same chance of winning it and that's what we'll be trying our hardest to do."

Source: Team_Talk