James McPake willing to do what it takes to play on Sunday
Hibs captain James McPake is willing to do anything to lead out his team on Sunday for the Scottish Cup final on Sunday against Celtic. He has not been able to play since the 27 April game against St Mirren with a back injury but has been given a pain-killing injection in a bid to be ready for the game. Speaking at the national stadium at the press call to publicise the final, McPake said: "I am trying everything to be as fit as I can be. The jag was taken last week. It is a flare up in my back. I trained the week of the derby (against Hearts) but I which risked doing further damage if I played in that one so I was forced to pull out. I am confident in the people I speak to regarding these decisions and when to get a jag and when not, and what is right and what is wrong. They give me every possible scenario and I am happy to do that for the football club. If there is any way you can play, not just in a final, then you will play. At what risk to yourself and the team? That's the decision that has to be made. Every player on the planet will tell you, the pain is not the issue, it is if you can get through the game. But I am back in training and feeling good at the minute. It is settling to be fair."McPake admits being sick of being reminded of last season's 5-1 disappointment in the final which Hibs lost to neighbours Hearts. He does not believe that day will have an effect against the SPL champions, who are looking to do the double. He said: "I don't know if we can take any positives from last year but we know that can't happen again, that's for sure. We know we let everyone down massively which is disappointing. It comes up in every interview and to be honest I am sick speaking about how disappointed I was, and it was the same for everyone. There will only be four or five who played last year. We are a whole new team and a whole new bunch of guys so it doesn't mean anything to players like Ben Williams and Tom Taiwo. But we are certainly in better form than last year. We had just escaped relegation and we haven't had that problem this season. We are a more confident club, not just a more confident team."No interview about Hibs and the Scottish cup can pass without a mention of the last time the Scottish Cup was in the Easter Road trophy cabinet. 1902 is a long time to look back to for any modern day player and McPake was once again asked if there was an obsession about the Scottish Cup around the club. He said: "I think there is, yes. I didn't realise until I came to the club. I wasn't a Hibernian supporter when I was young so I never knew (about the cup record) until I came up. Even in the early rounds in the build-up there is a buzz and an excitement. We were watching some footage today of the quarter-final against Kilmarnock and the away support at Rugby Park was the best I ever played in front of and that's what the cup brings to this club."McPake knows Hibs will go into the game as underdogs but knows that 28-goal Leigh Griffiths could cause an upset. He said: "We are the underdogs. Celtic are the champions, they won the league at a canter, they had a great European campaign and they are a top team with top players. But on the other hand, we have the best striker in the league and I have said it all season. I have no doubt in my head that Celtic will be as fearful of Leigh Griffiths as we are of any of their players. I don't know if we need them to have an off-day but we have to be at our best. Against a team like Celtic you can't carry any passengers whereas maybe against other teams you can."
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