Fyvie thrives on cel­e­brat­ing late strike with ‘crazy’ fans at Ham­p­den

Mid­field dy­namo in­sists sup­port­ers were over­due a cup party

The Herald - Herald Sport - - SCOTTISH CUP FINAL - KEVIN FERRIE

HE be­hav­iour of Hibs sup­port­ers re­stricted their team’s post-match cel­e­bra­tions at Ham­p­den on Satur­day but noth­ing could spoil the sense of oc­ca­sion as they savoured the mo­ment at the na­tional sta­dium.

One of the few to have ex­pe­ri­enced any­thing com­pa­ra­ble, hav­ing been on the Wigan bench when they claimed their odds-de­fy­ing FA Cup win against Manch­ester City three years ago, Fraser Fyvie was well placed to of­fer per­spec­tive but even he strug­gled to ar­tic­u­late it.

“It was great. I don’t think you could write a fin­ish like that,” said the 23-year-old mid­fielder. “What a feel­ing, jump­ing in with the fans. I’ve got no words, it’s a great feel­ing.”

It was one of those oc­ca­sions on which his ac­tions when re­act­ing to skip­per David Gray’s in­jury time win­ner prob­a­bly spoke bet­ter than any­thing he could ver­balise.

“When Dave ran and cel­e­brated with the crowd I jumped right into it. I was ba­si­cally surf­ing on it,” said Fyvie.

“It was amaz­ing, I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced that be­fore, I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced fans go crazy like that ex­cept at Wigan, but to play and be part of it I can’t de­scribe the feel­ing.”

He ad­mit­ted to dis­ap­point­ment at hav­ing been de­nied the tra­di­tional vic­tors’ lap of hon­our and ques­tioned whether that had been nec­es­sary once or­der had been re­stored.

“The fans ob­vi­ously got a bit ex­cited,” said Fyvie. “They’re long over­due a tro­phy and they’ve been great, we can only thank them for that, but the quicker they could have got off the pitch the bet­ter and then we would have been al­lowed to take the tro­phy round the pitch.

“If it was the other side I don’t know if they would have been al­lowed to take it round but we’ll see. It’s our day, it’s been a great day, it’s a fan­tas­tic day for our club, our fam­i­lies and the man­ager and staff in the back­ground and ob­vi­ously all the boys are go­ing to have a crack­ing night.

“You’ve still got the feel­ing but if you take it round you get to see ev­ery­one, you can take your kids on the pitch, you get to go right round the sta­dium and peo­ple on the far side get to see it.

“I don’t think there was any rea­son not to do it be­cause all the police were there, but they didn’t let us do it which was a bit dis­ap­point­ing.”

There was, though, deep sat­is­fac­tion at the way they had stuck ef­fec­tively to their game­plan well in pre­vent­ing Rangers from get­ting in be­hind them.

“We know that if you try to match Rangers for pos­ses­sion you’ve not got much of a chance,” said Fyvie.

“They’re a very good foot­balling side and the way they set up they take risks and they’re very good one-touch, two-touch play­ers. I thought they were good to­day, they were just un­lucky to lose the two set-pieces at the end.

“The gaf­fer was de­ter­mined they weren’t go­ing to get be­hind us. We worked all week on that, the back five, the back three what­ever you want to say with the mid­field­ers screen­ing in front be­cause we didn’t want to press them too much be­cause as soon as you do that they’ll just put it round the side of you. They’ve got a lot of run­ners and a lot of legs in mid­field as well, so we worked on that and it came off.”

Bet­ter still, though, was their re­sponse to man­ager Alan Stubbs’ chal­lenge to em­brace the op­por­tu­nity they had earned for them­selves. In do­ing so they re­sponded to the doubters, not least those who have cel­e­brated their near misses by in­vent­ing the term ‘Hib­s­ing it’, with their late re­cov­ery from a 2-1 deficit to claim the 3-2 win.

“The man­ager said be­fore the game ‘this is the time not to be part of his­tory, it’s time to make his­tory and be a leg­end.’ I think all the boys took that on board,” Fyvie re­counted.

“There was a bit of si­lence after he said it and it’s a bit sur­real now but it’s fan­tas­tic to know we’ve won the Scot­tish Cup, es­pe­cially for this foot­ball club and we were all say­ing it there, you can’t get a bet­ter group of boys.”

Do­ing so has the po­ten­tial to make a huge dif­fer­ence to the way they ap­proach a sea­son that could have been daunt­ing as play­ers who con­sider them­selves wor­thy of op­er­at­ing in the top flight looked ahead to a third suc­ces­sive sea­son in the Championship, but now has the added ex­cite­ment of the prospect of in­volve­ment in Euro­pean foot­ball which Fyvie an­tic­i­pated with rel­ish.

“Did it put every­thing right? No be­cause we wanted to be pro­moted but it leaves a very good taste in peo­ple’s mouths and we go on next year, we’re in Europe and we go again next year, give it a good go again,” he said.

As they pre­pare to do so there is a real sense that they have both over­come a ma­jor psy­cho­log­i­cal hur­dle and set stan­dards for them­selves.

“I don’t think we had a pas­sen­ger to­day at all,” reck­oned Fyvie. “All 11 of us were good, if not bet­ter than good. We lim­ited Rangers to very few chances. I think they only had one more chance after the two goals.

“There were very lit­tle chances for them, but we worked on set-pieces mas­sively dur­ing the week and it came off in the end ob­vi­ously. It’s been a good while since we won a cup and the skip­per pops up at the end with a goal and it was a fan­tas­tic feel­ing.”

HIGH FIVE: Hibs mid­fielder Fraser Fyvie, left, rev­els with ju­bi­lant fans on the Ham­p­den pitch at full­time

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