GARY NAYSMITH is focused on beating a knee and calf problem in time to challenge for a place in Huddersfield Town’s League I play-off final squad to face his former club Sheffield United at Wembley a week today.
But a piece of the former Scotland international full-back’s heart will always be in his home city of Edinburgh, which is currently gripped by cup final fever.
The capital’s two clubs Hearts and Hibs square up in the Scottish showpiece for the first time since 1896 at Hampden this afternoon.
It’s a date the fans have been waiting for since Hearts beat Celtic and Hibs saw off Aberdeen in last month’s semi-finals.
Naysmith, now 33, spent the first five years of his career at Hearts and helped them end a 36-year trophy drought by lifting the Scottish Cup at Rangers’ expense in 1998.
The ex-Everton man is desperate to see them triumph again today, saying: “It’s a great prospect, and what a feeling for one set of fans it will be to win it. It will be much better than beating Celtic or Rangers.”
Hibs are looking to end a 110-year wait to lift the trophy, and Naysmith admits it will be tough for Hearts fans to take if that happens.
“I know some who didn’t want to beat Aberdeen in the semis after Hibs made it to the final the day before. That’s how big losing would be,” he said.
“People say form goes out of the window in derbies, but Hearts have clearly had the upper hand in recent meetings and must be strong favourites.
“Whatever happens, it’s going to be some day, and if Town get promotion to the Championship a week after Hearts beat Hibs to take the Scottish Cup, it would be some double.”
Left-back Naysmith, who played for Sheffield United between 2007-10, has been sidelined since March, when he made his 26th appearance of the season.