Hibernian V Dundee Utd at Easter Road Stadium : Match Preview

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03 November 2015
Hibernian V Dundee Utd - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Hibernian head coach Alan Stubbs looking forward to Dundee United quarter-final

Hibernian head coach Alan Stubbs is grateful that the euphoria of beating Rangers has quickly been replaced by focusing on another major occasion as they prepare for Wednesday's League Cup quarter-final against Dundee United at Easter Road.

Hibs fans are still basking in the achievement of their side's 2-1 victory on Sunday, which cut the gap at the top of the Ladbrokes Championship to five points.

But Stubbs, whose side have won 10 of their last 11 matches, and his players have quickly moved on.

"It's certainly an opportunity for us to keep that winning run going," Stubbs said.

"It's a quarter-final of the League Cup so that means it's another big game and I'm delighted we have such a big game immediately after the Rangers game because it means we don't dwell on it and it's a chance to refocus.

"It's going to be a very tough game, Dundee United have some very good players."

United won a penalty shoot-out at Easter Road at the same stage last year following a six-goal thriller, but Stubbs feels his side are a different prospect 12 months on.

"We are certainly a stronger group as a result of that year," he said.

"I think we're a better team. We go into the game in good spirits and we're looking to progress to the next round."

The game pits Stubbs against former Bolton team-mate Mixu Paatelainen, who secured his first win as United boss on Saturday.

"Mixu certainly wears his heart on his sleeve," Stubbs said.

"I think the players understand in no uncertain terms what he expects from them. We've seen first hand evidence of that in his interviews.

"He's a winner, he's very passionate so I'm sure he will get it right there.

"It may take a little bit of time but we saw on Saturday how dangerous Dundee United can be because they got a great result against Ross County, who are doing fantastic."

Hibs will be without Dylan McGeouch, who has a minor groin strain, but Martin Boyle, Farid El Alagui and Adam Eckersely are all added to the squad.

As for Paatelainen, he sees significant value in a League Cup run despite their ongoing fight against relegation.

Despite Saturday's victory at Tannadice, United remain bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership and six points off 10th place.

The Finn said: "Cups are very important for us, no question about it. This tie is an opportunity to advance to the semi-finals and who knows what might happen from there?

"It's a chance for players to do well and semi-finals and finals are always great occasions and real confidence-boosters, and of course for supporters they are important. Dundee United over the years have been successful in cups, getting to the later stages.

"We want to do the same this year but it won't be easy. Even though Hibs are in the Championship, they have Premiership class and standards in their side.

"Hibs are flying high and had a great victory on Sunday against Rangers. Confidence is high, they are scoring goals and defended solidly."

Paatelainen is close to his first signing in Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, but the 32-year-old will not feature in Edinburgh.

Kawashima, who left Standard Liege in the summer, is in Scotland and is set to provide competition for Luis Zwick and Michal Szromnik.

"Eiji has agreed everything but he can't sign the contract until the work permit issue has been resolved," Paatelainen said. "I don't know how long the process takes."


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