Scottish Cup triumph would be a welcome reward for suffering Hearts fans
Scottish Cup Triumph Would be a Welcome Reward for Suffering Hearts Fans
There was jubilation among Heart of Midlothian players and staff as they defeated arch rivals Hibernian to earn a place in the Scottish FA Cup final. After the hardship endured by the club and its supporters, which included being relegated as a result of points-per-game basis last season, it was a moment of celebration for a fanbase who have suffered plenty in recent times.
Now, they have a showpiece occasion to look forward to – the final against Celtic on December 20th at Hampden Park. And although Hearts are the underdogs according to the Scottish FA Cup odds, there might be cause for optimism given Celtic’s downturn in form of late. Meanwhile, the Jambos have started their Championship season well, sitting second in the table at the time of writing.
If Hearts were to upset the odds and win the Scottish Cup, you couldn’t begrudge their fans a moment of glory. Times have been tough at Tynecastle over the last few years, with Hearts suffering relegation back in 2014 for the first time since they were promoted to the Scottish top tier in 1983. They earned promotion again at the first time of asking, and since then had been a staple in the Premiership before falling foul of the coronavirus-enforced points-per-game league finishes last season.
It was harsh, but if the club are to reach the heights they aspire to, then greater consistency is needed on the pitch, and perhaps earning a piece of silverware could kickstart a promotion charge, followed by a spell of success in the top division.
Of course, Hearts will be out for revenge as well, having lost to Celtic in the previous Scottish FA Cup final, where a late Odsonne Édouard winner saw the Hoops run out triumphant. This time, Robbie Neilson will be hoping his team can exact vengeance on Neil Lennon’s struggling Celtic, who have looked a far cry from their best during the season so far.
Celtic trail Rangers in the league by 11 points, with their hopes of landing a 10th successive Premiership title hanging by a thread, and they have also been humbled in the Europa League, having lost three of their opening four matches. The latest humiliation was a 2-0 home to defeat to Ross County in the League Cup, which saw fans converge on Celtic Park to protest against Lennon and the team.
It’s that intense pressure on the Northern Irishman and his squad that Hearts are hoping to capitalise on when they head to Hampden. If they can produce the form that has seen them start the season well, and the kind of spirit shown in knocking out Hibs to reach the final, then they could yet put another dagger in Celtic’s season, which is already threatening to end up in tatters.
Following the victory over Hibs, which featured a late extra-time penalty from Liam Boyce, coach Neilson said: “It was a rollercoaster ride and there was a lot of nail biting in that extra-time, but we’ve managed to get the win and beat our arch rivals here at Hampden again.”
Hearts fans will be hoping that there are still a few more twists and turns on the rollercoaster to come as they face up to Celtic later this month.
December 8, 2020 / [email protected] /
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