Hibernian 3-2 Rangers: Focus on league, not final - Alan Stubbs

Hibs boss Alan Stubbs insists his squad are not thinking about the Scottish Cup final after beating Hampden opponents Rangers in Wednesday's dress rehearsal.

The Edinburgh side moved to within three points of Falkirk as they pursue second place in the Championship, which would spare them extra play-off games.

"We are not even thinking about the cup final," Stubbs told BBC Scotland.

"It was about getting three points and the lads deserve a lot of credit. We want to finish as high as we can."

Stubbs employed a 3-5-2 formation in the 3-2 victory, closing down Rangers' options in midfield as Jason Cummings - who scored the opener - and Anthony Stokes harassed the visitors' defenders to good effect.

"We know Rangers have got good players, that is why they won the league," Stubbs noted. "We knew if we played with good shape, we have got good players who can hurt them, as they have shown before.

Previous meetings this season
28 Dec: Rangers 4-2 Hibs (Championship)
1 Nov: Hibs 2-1 Rangers (Championship)
23 Aug: Rangers 1-0 Hibs (Championship)
25 July: Hibs 2-6 Rangers (Challenge Cup)

"Jason's (Cummings) record against Rangers is good, and he and Anthony caused problems for them."

After their penalty shootout victory over Dundee United, Wednesday was the first of potentially 11 games in 36 days for Hibs, if they don't overtake Falkirk for second, but still make it to the Premiership play-off final.

But with an away game at Morton on Saturday next up, Stubbs believes his players are becoming "immune" to the strenuous schedule that has accompanied their progress to both domestic cup finals.

"We have had a heavy fixture schedule since March," he added. "If anything the players are starting to get immune to it and they will concentrate on recovery again now before Saturday.

"The most important thing is recovery and we will try to do that - with protein drinks, nutrition, ice, massage - and we might look at a couple of other options to maximise what potentially we can do."

Rangers winger Barrie McKay thumped in a great goal from long range
Rangers winger Barrie McKay thumped in a great goal from long range

'Hampden fatigue not an issue for Rangers'

Rangers boss Mark Warburton insists there was no Hampden hangover after watching his side slip to only their fourth league defeat of the season - two at Falkirk, and two at Hibs.

The Glasgow giants endured 120 minutes and a penalty shootout against Celtic in Sunday' second semi-final but he refused to use fatigue as an excuse.

"No not at all, Sunday was totally irrelevant," Warburton said. "That is next year if we win the cup and have the Europa League. You saw the fitness levels, you saw Barrie McKay running back 40 yards in the 93rd minute.

"We were physically fine, mentally fine. It is disappointing to start the game well and then give away a soft, soft goal. That can't happen.

"The third goal allows them to sit deep and they had 10 men behind the ball so it is hard to break down.

"We got a great strike from Baz, who again produced an outstanding level of performance. We should have had more chances with all the possession we had. To come here and have 70% of the ball tells you all you need to know."

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