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Sproule: 'Luck of Irish' can end Cup hoodoo for Hibs

IVAN SPROULE has reminded his Hibernian team-mates that they can eclipse the achievements of some of the club's greatest players by bringing the Scottish Cup back to Easter Road for the first time since 1902.

A 2-1 win over Aberdeen at Hampden on Saturday, thanks to goals from Garry O'Connor and Leigh Griffiths, sets up a return to the national stadium on May 19 to take on Edinburgh rivals Hearts, who beat Celtic 2-1 yesterday.

The Northern Ireland international, 31, is in his second spell at Easter Road and knows more than most in Pat Fenlon's dressing room about the Leith club's 110-year cup drought.

"I have listened to it longer than anyone else because I have been around a wee bit longer," said Sproule.

"I have been around the club for a wee while, so you know about all the great players like Pat Stanton and John Collins, even George Best, the fantastic players that Hibs have had and who have never managed to get their hands on it.

"But the lads know about it and they now have the chance of making themselves heroes.

"We are within 90 minutes of it now so it is there for us if we want it.

"Obviously there will be another team in the final wanting it just as badly but we have the chance to shake that (hoodoo) off."

Sitting seven points clear of Scottish Premier League bottom side Dunfermline, it is shaping up to be a good end to the season for Hibs.

"I wanted to end the season on a high for the supporters who have stuck with us all year," said Sproule.

"We have had our fair share of knockers over the last couple of months so to actually make the final, and with the league thing going well for us at the minute, then hopefully we can finish the season on a real high and put a few smiles back on the faces of a few people at Easter Road."

Sproule will not dash the hopes of those Hibs fans who believe the luck of the Irish will see the Cup return to Leith for the first time in more than a century.

He added: "We bring the luck to the party, so let's hope the luck of the Irish can do it.

"The gaffer and all his coaching staff have all put in a good shift. The gaffer has been cross, he has been happy -- every emotion under the sun.

"It has taken time. He inherited a new squad and brought in new players and it was never going to happen straight away.

"I think everyone can see there is a bit of shape to the side, we are resilient, we have got goals in us so it has turned round and I am excited to see how the rest of the season will go.

"But I think you will see the best of Pat Fenlon's side next season."