Hibernian: Alan Stubbs has player targets for Scottish Cup winners

Alan Stubbs and his Hibernian players with the Scottish Cup
Hibs paraded the Scottish Cup in Edinburgh on Sunday

Hibernian head coach Alan Stubbs is making plans for next season following Saturday's historic Scottish Cup win.

The Easter Road club lifted the trophy for the first time since 1902 by beating Rangers 3-2 at Hampden.

Victory secured the Championship side a Europa League qualifying berth, beginning in mid-July.

"We've already identified some players that we would like to bring to the football club to make it stronger," Stubbs told BBC Scotland.

"I'm planning for next season. We're not going to rest on our laurels. There's a lot of ambitious people behind the scenes here."

Stubbs and his players paraded the trophy through Edinburgh on Sunday - described by the head coach as "a sight to behold".

And the Englishman insisted it would have been a "travesty" had his team not earned some reward for their season, having missed out on promotion by losing their Premiership play-off semi-final against Falkirk and losing in the League Cup final.

'All systems go'

"We missed out on our main target this season," said Stubbs. "We've fulfilled a long-standing target in terms of the Scottish Cup.

"It will be all systems go for that promotion next season. We want to try and take the play-offs completely out the equation and we want to try and go up automatically [by winning the Championship].

"It's coming round very quickly - 14 July we play [in the Europa League second qualifying round]. The only probably consolation that we get from that is that we miss the first round of the League Cup, which would've been 16 July.

"We'll get ready. We'll see who we get in the draw and make the arrangements in which ever country we have to go to. We'll look forward to it.

"The most important thing now is that we're looking forward to a rest and a break and then we'll get the players back ready to go again.

"The players need to be away from here and switch off."

'Massive weight lifted'

Left-back Lewis Stevenson has played over 250 games for Hibs, having spent his entire career at Easter Road.

"I know how much it means to the fans and how much it means to the club," said the 28-year-old.

"It's been a massive weight I've felt on my shoulders since I've been here so I can imagine what it's been like for fans who have supported the club all their days."

John McGinn joined Hibs from St Mirren last summer and won his first Scotland cap in March's 1-0 win over Denmark.

And the 21-year-old has been included in Gordon Strachan's squad for the upcoming friendlies against Italy and France.

"I'm desperate to [play]," said McGinn. "If I've got the decision then I'll be there on Tuesday [for training] and I'm really looking forward to it.

"I don't need a rest. I'm more than happy to be playing games. To have the opportunity to play against two top-class teams is something that doesn't come along too often so it's not something that I want to miss."

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