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Paul Hanlon wants Hibernian to continue strong form against rivals Hearts

Rangers v Hibernian – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Paul Hanlon wants Hibernian to draw on their league confidence when they face Edinburgh rivals Hearts in their rearranged William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.

Jack Ross’ side have made an impressive start to the Premiership season with only two defeats in 12 and sit in third place in the table behind leaders Rangers and Celtic.

League action takes a break this weekend as last season’s coronavirus-interrupted semi-finals are concluded  – holders Celtic face Aberdeen on Sunday – with the final taking place at the national stadium on December 20.

The 30-year-old Hibs defender is looking forward to Saturday’s clash with the Jambos.

He said: “It’s a different competition so it’s not really a case of building on our league form any more.

“It’s just a case of using the confidence that we have built up throughout this easily part of the season to take it into this game

“We need to understand what we have done well in games, what we can still improve on and try to put it all together this weekend.

“It is a massive game and we need to play well to win it and showcase what we have done so far this season.

“I am excited for the game, one I have been looking forward to for a long time.

“It has always been in the back of our mind and it is here now.

“It is a massive for both clubs and the city and we want to come out on top.”

Hanlon believes it will be a strange occasion with no fans inside Hampden, although he has recent experience of that when he made his Scotland debut against the Czech Republic at the national stadium.

He said: “There is no doubt that it is going to be a surreal experience being at Hampden, being involved in such a big game, obviously being a semi-final of our national cup, and an Edinburgh derby on top of that.

“It is going to be surreal not having fans there but it is something we have got used to over a number of weeks now.

“No matter where you go in the country, bigger stadiums, smaller stadiums, we are used to it.

“We have adjusted well to it so far this season and we need to do it again.”