Joe Newell insists Hibernian will bounce back from Viaplay Cup heartbreak

Hibernian will bounce back from cup disappointment, says Joe Newell (Jane Barlow/PA)
Hibernian will bounce back from cup disappointment, says Joe Newell (Jane Barlow/PA)

Joe Newell turned his focus immediately to league business after Hibernian cruelly came up short in their Viaplay Cup semi-final against Aberdeen on Saturday.

The 30-year-old midfielder, skipper at Hampden Park in the absence of club captain Paul Hanlon, watched Hibs forward Martin Boyle find the Dons net after 49 minutes only for VAR, after a lengthy check, to rule the effort out for offside.

Hibs were the better team and it looked ominous for Aberdeen when defender Jack MacKenzie was sent off by referee John Beaton in the 75th minute for picking up a second yellow card for a silly push on Lewis Miller.

However, just three minutes later, Bojan Miovski struck his 10th goal of the season to book a place in the December 17 final.

Hibs return to cinch Premiership duty on Wednesday night when they face third-placed St Mirren in Paisley before a home game against Kilmarnock.

Newell said: “Really hurting. As you can imagine, it is a really tough one to take.

“I thought we managed the game plan really well, tactically we set up well, I thought we were the better side.

“Initially, I haven’t looked back, but I think we can do better when they go a man sent off.

“I think it kind of hindered us which it shouldn’t. That was my initial feeling. I thought we were in control of the game up to that point.

“Even after the disappointment of the offside, I thought we were the better team. We responded really well, we had a good few chances and I felt momentum was all with us. So that adds to the disappointment.

“It hurts everyone in the dressing room, but we will have a day to dust ourselves down and then the full focus is on the league. There is no other option.

“There are two massives games coming up so the focus is on that.

“There is no doubting the lads’ character and desire to go to St Mirren in Wednesday and get a result.

“It will be very tough, it is one of the hardest games you can have this season. They have shown that in the way they have started the season.

“We have played them twice already and we will know all about them and one thing, there will be no excuses come Wednesday night in terms of this semi-final game, that will be put to bed and we will be fully focused and prepared, definitely.”