Hibernian 2-1 St Johnstone: Stubbs laughs off 'bottlers' label

Manager Alan Stubbs with match-winner John McGinn
Stubbs with match-winner John McGinn at Tynecastle

Manager Alan Stubbs was proud of Hibernian's nerve and their performance as they beat St Johnstone 2-1 to reach the final of the League Cup.

John McGinn fired in the winning goal after Joe Shaughnessy had cancelled out Jason Cummings' opening penalty.

"People in the past have called us bottlers," Stubbs told BBC Scotland.

"When they pulled us back to 1-1 we were still positive, we were creating chances and we looked a threat. So much for bottlers, eh?"

St Johnstone were Hibernian's third Premiership scalp in the tournament, with Aberdeen and Dundee United disposed of in previous rounds.

And once again the Championship side made most of the running against opponents sitting fifth in the top flight.

"It was two good teams giving it their all and we've come through," said Stubbs.

Hibs will play either Celtic or Ross County in the final as they bid to win the trophy for a fourth time, their most recent success coming in 2007.

They sit second in the Championship, eight points behind Rangers, with a game in hand, and have a derby with Hearts in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup to look forward to.

"I got criticised last week for saying we were in three competitions," added Stubbs.

"Someone asked me if we could win all three. We're challenging for the league and we know that will be difficult but we are right there and we're going to give it a go.

"We're in the final of one competition and we've got a really tough game next weekend against our local rivals.

"I never said we could win a treble but if people want me to come out and say we've got no chance, I'm afraid I'm not going to say that. I believe in this team."

Liam Henderson turned in an impressive display, alongside McGinn, Dylan McGeouch and Fraser Fyvie as Hibs had the upper hand in midfield.

Should Celtic prevail at Hampden on Sunday, he and Anthony Stokes, who missed out with a back strain, will not be allowed to face their parent club in the final.

"He'll still enjoy the day," said Stubbs of Henderson. "He's played a significant part in getting us to a cup final. He's got a lot of quality but now there's an opportunity for someone else."

Henderson won the spot-kick converted by Cummings on 29 minutes, with Stubbs saying: "It looks like a penalty and the referee is in a really good position to see it and he's given it."

Joe Shaughnessy scored on a rare St Johnstone attack
Shaughnessy scored on a rare St Johnstone attack

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright was of the opinion that the award was harsh.

"There are always big decisions in big games and my players are 100% that that decision has gone against us," he told BBC Scotland.

"I wouldn't put any blame on the referee because the player has made him make a decision.

"Chris Millar quite clearly puts his foot in, pulls it away, and the lad goes down."

Simon Lappin struck the crossbar with a free-kick following a scrappy start to the second half but Saints had few other glimpses at goal.

"I don't think we did ourselves justice," added Wright, who lost Millar and Brian Easton to injuries.

Chris Millar
Millar tweeted his take on the penalty incident

"We were too loose in possession but we stayed in the game and as the second half was going on I thought we were the team more likely to get through.

"They probably created more chances than us but we still had good opportunities. Hibs were better than us on the ball to be fair.

"We're disappointed but we'll pick ourselves back up and get on with the league campaign now."

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