Hibernian: Grant Murray tells players to ignore search for head coach before Raith tie

Grant Murray oversees Hibs training
Grant Murray (centre) says Hibs must "take care of the game that's in front of them"
Scottish Cup: Hibernian v Raith Rovers
Venue: Easter Road Date: Saturday, 9 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online, updates on the BBC Sport website & app

Reaching the Scottish Cup quarter-finals should be the Hibernian players' sole focus, says Grant Murray as the club assess candidates to be their new head coach.

Hibs, cup winners in 2016, host League One Raith Rovers on Saturday.

First-team coach Murray and academy head Eddie May will take charge for the fourth match running, after Neil Lennon left the club in conlast month.

"I don't think they should need that extra incentive," said Murray.

"Their only focus should be in getting to the next round of the cup - taking care of the game that's in front of them - as that's the only impact they can have."

Former Barnsley and Leeds United boss Paul Heckingbottom and ex-Portsmouth and Blackburn manager Michael Appleton are believed to be the two leading candidates to succeed Lennon.

The new man is unlikely to be in place until next week at the earliest and former Raith manager Murray says even if a new head coach was watching from the stands, no extra motivation should be required for the players.

Murray was in charge of Rovers when they knocked Hibs out of the Scottish Cup in 2014.

"We went there with a belief we could get something and we did on the day," he recalled. "So we have to respect them as a team coming here to Easter Road. They are winning games of football and scoring goals.

"As a club Raith Rovers have gone to Dens Park and Pittodrie and won games. They will have the same belief as anyone coming to Easter Road. It's up to us to be focused and have the players ready and make sure we are in the draw on Monday night."

Raith Rovers celebrate after beating Hibernian in 2014
Murray's Raith Rovers celebrated a 2014 Scottish Cup win at Easter Road

'Disaster if Hibs don't get to the quarter-finals'

Meanwhile, Raith boss John McGlynn, who signed Murray as a player in his previous spell with Rovers, says no-one expects the Kirkcaldy club to come out on top.

Raith are second in Scottish League One and promotion to the Championship is the club's ultimate goal this season.

"Definitely," said McGlynn. "It's not necessarily a free shot. We want to put on a real show and obviously want to try and make them nervous and turn the crowd on to them and take advantage of that and win the football match.

"All the pressure is on Hibs. They are the big team and at home to a League One team, it would be a disaster if they didn't get to the quarter-finals of the cup. It won't be a disaster for us."

John McGlynn
McGlynn began his second spell as Raith Rovers manager in September

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