What A Difference One Player Can Make
Hibs make it back to Hampden thanks to Leigh Griffiths
Hibs have made it to another Scottish Cup semi-final and manager Pat Fenlon was full of praise for Leigh Griffiths for his three-goal contribution to the 4-2 score over Kilmarnock in today's Scottish Cup quarter-finals. Griffiths opening the scoring on 15 minutes and with the game poised at 2-2 he added two more to tip the balance the way of the Easter Road side. Hibs now have two important games to look forward to as they have the little matter of meeting city rival Hearts next weekend. Fenlon said: "Leigh is a special player, it is not just the goals, his movement is different class but I think there were good performances all round. It is a good feeling to be in another semi-final but we are just thinking of Hearts to be honest, that's the next game and I am going to make sure we are prepared for that. But I was delighted with the performance today."Griffiths has now scored 22 goals this season and he says he is desperate to go all the way in the competition and banish the memory of last season's "humiliating" 5-1 defeat in the final to Hearts. He said: "It is not just me who is the Hibs fan, Paul Hanlon is as well and we know what it means to the Hibs fans to win the cup. We have the chance to rectify that now. If we get through the semi-final then hopefully we can go one step further. The gaffer spoke to us after the game (against Killie) on Wednesday to tell us how important this game was going to be and to get back to Hampden. Last year we said, 'is it going to be this year and what better way to do it than against Hearts' and we got absolutely humiliated. We embarrassed ourselves and most of all the club last season and we just have to rectify that. It was probably the biggest derby there will probably ever be and it was a shambles really. Fair play to Hearts they won it, they played better than us on the day. But we are not going to talk about the final just yet, we have important league games coming up starting against Hearts next week."Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels said Hibsn must have thought they had "won the lottery" after beating his side today. Come back goals from James Dayton and Paul Heffernan allowed the home side to equalise twice but they were not enough to deny Hibs with Griffith's hat-trick being augmented by a shot on target from Matt Done. Clearly disappointed at events, Shiels said: "We have performed remarkably well this last while but you have to give Leigh Griffiths a lot of credit, you can't overlook that. But the basic defending of long balls was really, really poor and that was the key. We looked the team that was trying to play with invention and creativity but if you can't defend straight balls like that...they must have thought they had won the lottery. It was unbelievable, really poor."
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