Scottish Football: Hibernian enjoying happy days

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The Independent Online
HIBERNIAN can approach Sunday's League Cup final with Rangers in confident mood, as they look down on the rest from their place at the top of the Premier Division, writes David McKinney. Such is the transformation in their fortunes this season that they earned a point against Celtic without playing well but, given their recent form, they will believe they can repeat their League Cup win of two years ago.

Celtic, who are still awaiting the arrival of Lou Macari as their new manager, did little to suggest they can build a convincing lead against Sporting Lisbon in Wednesday's Uefa Cup tie at Parkhead. The arrival of Macari should inject much-life into the club, and the directors are understandably anxious to usher him into the manager's chair before the Portuguese visit. The board are also expected to make an announcement this week about funding for the proposed move to a new stadium at Cambuslang.

Scotland's only other European representatives, Aberdeen, struggled in a 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park with a performance that will have done nothing to worry Lido Vieri, the watching representative of Torino, their opponents in the Cup-Winners' Cup.

Despite their indifferent start to the season, Rangers are beginning to exert an ominous presence, lying just two points off the lead. For only the second time this season, they recorded consecutive League wins by beating St Johnstone at Ibrox. As in last week's win over Dundee United, Mark Hateley and Pieter Huistra scored the goals that earned the points.

Motherwell are one point behind Hibs after a 1-0 win over the bottom club, Dundee, who have become dangerously detached. The Lanarkshire side hit the woodwork four times in a win which was more convincing than the scoreline might suggest.