Conrad Logan: Hibs keeper 'buzzing' after 'perfect' debut

Interview - Conrad Logan

Hibernian hero Conrad Logan hailed a "perfect day" on his debut after saving two penalties in a shoot-out to send the club into the Scottish Cup final.

Logan, 29, earlier made a string of saves in normal and extra-time in his first senior game since December 2014.

The Irishman, signed two weeks ago, was only told he was playing against Dundee United 10 minutes before the warm-up.

"I felt sharp and ready to go. It's pretty much the perfect day," he told BBC Scotland after a 4-2 shoot-out win.

"You make yourself big and you get lucky some days, although I like to think you make your own luck in this game.

"Everyone is just buzzing. There is no better way to win a cup game than in a shoot-out. I'm just delighted to be a part of it.

Highlights: Hibs beat Dundee Utd in Scottish Cup semi-final

With first-choice keeper Mark Oxley suspended, former Leicester stopper Logan - whose last game was for English League One side Rochdale in December 2014 - was chosen ahead of Finnish keeper Otso Virtanen for the Hampden encounter.

He rewarded Alan Stubbs with two important first-half saves from Billy Mckay and two more in extra-time from John Rankin and Henri Anier before saving from Blair Spittal and Mckay in the shoot-out.

"People questioned what I was going to do all week," said Hibs boss Stubbs. "It could easily have been Otso, but I went for his [Logan's] experience and it looks like I made the right call.

"There's a part of me that feels sorry for Dundee United. It is never a great way to lose a semi-final on penalties. It is cruel.

"I thought we were good in the first half but they came into it in the second half and we got to a point where both sides didn't want to lose the game."

It might have been different had Hibs striker Jason Cummings opted not to attempt a 'Panenka'external-link-style penalty in the first half, failing to emulate Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo against England at Euro 2012.

Euro 2012: Pirlo's audacious penalty against England

"With my new barnet, I thought I was a bit more like Pirlo so I tried to dink it, but it didn't come off," quipped Cummings, who made amends with the winning penalty in the shoot-out.

"At the time I was thinking it wasn't going to be our day. I was nervous in the shoot-out when I realised it could be the winning penalty but I was just buzzing when it went in."

Stubbs refused to criticise his striker in public, though hinted he may receive a slightly different response in private.

"He has taken vital penalties for us and he is a confident boy," Stubbs said. "If he had taken his penalties that way and scored before, I may have understood but I don't want him to start practising them like that in a semi-final.

"It is a spur-of-the-moment decision. You have to have a strong character and he has got that. If it goes in, people say how cool he looks."

Jason Cummings watches his penalty sail over the bar
Cummings saw his 'panenka' penalty sail over the bar

'Missed chances the story of our season'

Dundee United boss Mixu Paatelainen felt his side were "the far better team for most of the game" but rued their inability to take any chances in front of goal.

"Hibs started really well and dominated the first 20 minutes but once we found our composure, and took care of the ball, we totally controlled the game," he told BBC Scotland.

"We created three fantastic opportunities one-on-one with the goalkeeper but we haven't taken them and that has been the story of our season. It has cost us once again today.

"Penalties are always a lottery. I can't fault the boys' effort but I am so disappointed for our supporters, who have turned out in big numbers again.

"We are up against it in the league but we will keep fighting and make sure when the league action starts again, we are ready."

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