Stenhousemuir play mind game : SCOTTISH FOOTBALL

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The Independent Online
Terry Christie, the manager of Stenhousemuir, believes his Scottish Cup giantkillers must win their own mind game before they can overcome Hibernian this afternoon.

The Second Division club have taken the tournament by storm, ousting First Division St Johnstone and the once-mighty Aberdeen. Now Hibs, without a Scottish Cup triumph for 93 years, stand between them and a place in the last four.

But Christie insists that if Stenhousemuir are to enjoy more headlines on Sunday, they must have no inferiority complex in the 3,500 sell-out match at Ochilview Park.

"It's going to be another hard game for us, but there is definitely no pressure on Stenhousemuir," Christie said. "Everyone is saying we'll get our come-uppance against Hibs and I'd be saying the same if I was an outsider. Hibs are hot favourites.

"Let's face it, while Alex's [Alex Miller, the Hibs manager] players are relaxing at a secret pre-match hotel, mine are at their work! Hibs are a better side by far than Aberdeen, as their league position - third in the Premier - proves.

"But I want my lads to stand up tall and push out their chests. They must go out there with no inferiority complex because that's what we have done so far."

Stenhousemuir will have their highly rated left-back, Euan Donaldson, available, while Tommy Steel, the two-goal hero in the win over Aberdeen, is fighting to recover from a calf injury. Hibs have Pat McGinlay ruled out through suspension, and Gareth Evans and Kevin Harper are doubtful.

"We want to be in the last four. We're under no illusions, and Stenhousemuir's victories over St Johnstone and Aberdeen have put us on our guard," Miller said. "I watched them in midweek and they are workmanlike and well-organised - as you would expect from any side managed by Terry Christie." Miller would certainly settle for a repeat of the only previous cup meeting between the two sides, which Hibs won 8-1 in 1953.

At Stark's Park in Kirkcaldy, Raith Rovers will be bidding to continue a season which is rapidly entering the realms of fantasy football.

Raith, who won the Coca-Cola Cup in November and are second in the First Division, are on course for a remarkable treble, with Airdrie standing between them and a place in the cup semi-finals. Airdrie are anxious for revenge after a defeat on penalties in the Coca-Cola Cup semi-finals.

Tomorrow, the Premier rivals Hearts and Dundee United meet at Tynecastle. Hearts have Jim Bett and Craig Levein suspended, but doubts over Dave McPherson and Colin Miller are clearing. Hearts yesterday signed the right- back Fraser Wishart for £50,000 from Rangers as cover for Steve Frail, although Wishart is Cup-tied and so cannot play tomorrow.

United welcome back Billy McKinlay, while the former Hearts striker, Scott Crabbe, could start his first match after a year out through injury.

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