Fyvie thrives on celebrating late strike with ‘crazy’ fans at Hampden
Midfield dynamo insists supporters were overdue a cup party
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