Hibernian assistant manager Adam Owen insists the team will enjoy trying to defy the odds in Wednesday’s glamorous European clash with Aston Villa.
Seeing off Raith Rovers in a tense 2-1 Viaplay Cup round of 16 game on Sunday, Hibs can now fully focus on the first leg of the Europa Conference League play-offs against his English counterparts from the top flight.
The return of former Hibs favorite John McGinn to Easter Road as Villa’s captain is also an exciting plot point for the game, with Owen insisting that Leith’s side is looking forward to the battle.
He said: “The anticipation for the game probably boiled outside the club, not inside the club.
“We went from one place to another, traveling, playing, recovering, traveling, playing, recovering. You don’t really think about it until it’s your next game.
“We go with a loser mentality. To be honest, I’ve always liked it.
“Where we are, the guys are looking forward to it, the staff is looking forward to it.
“We will be well prepared and we are very happy that we were able to get through this without extra time, because the rotation of the squads is an important part of it. Everyone is looking forward to it.”
Asked specifically about Scotland’s McGinn, Owen said: “Obviously there will be names of ex-players mentioned but they have a fantastic line up of players so we are fully aware of the challenges this entails.”
Hibs put in a lot of effort to defeat Wright and reach the quarterfinals. After a shabby first half, Eli Yuan headed Joe Newell’s corner before Callum Smith equalized for the visitors.
But Dylan Wente scored the winning goal in the 69th minute, coming off the bench.
The Dutchman, however, was forced to leave in stoppage time with a bloody nose after being caught by high boot Liam Dick, for which Wright’s defender received a red card.
Raith manager Ian Murray was pleased with how his team performed despite the result.
He said: “I was very happy, I thought we played very well in the game at times, especially after the first 10 minutes.
“Hibs had all the ball and then we pretty much controlled the second half, I felt, in terms of our passes.
“I told the players before the game that the result will take care of itself, we just want to come here and play well and show everyone how good we can be both individually and as a team. I thought we made it.”