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Hibernian's James McPake looking forward after cup final disappointment

The Hibs captain says he is eagerly anticipating the Europe League qualifiers.

James McPake, Hibs, April 2013.
© SNS Group

Hibernian defender James McPake says he has put the disappointment of missing the cup final behind him as he returns from injury to prepare for next season.

The Hibs captain missed out on the defeat to Celtic at Hampden due to a back complaint and admitted being on the sidelines on the big occasion was a blow.

Now, with the Europa League qualifying draw looming and pre-season training due to start in two week’s time, McPake says he is raring to go.

"I'm aiming to be back fit and back in training when pre-season starts, so that I'm up to speed when the matches start,” the defender told Hibs’ official website.

"It promises to be an exciting season for Hibs with the Europa League qualifiers and we will also be looking to build on last season in the SPL.

"It was a massive disappointment to miss out on the cup final. I thought I'd done enough to make myself available for selection.

"But then in the week leading up to the final I experienced another set-back. It was really tough to take because I would have loved to have led the team out at Hampden.

"Now I'm focusing all my energy on coming back stronger and helping the team next season - improving on what we did last year and making more progress."

McPake also gave clarity over talk that his injury was more serious than originally stated.

"Some friends have been in touch with me recently about these rumours, but they aren't true,” he said. “I haven't had an operation and I'm not planning to have one.

"My main aim now is to put everything I can into making Hibernian successful next season and give our inspirational supporters something to cheer about."

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