CHRIS Cadden admits he was thrilled to exorcise the ghosts of last season with Hibernian’s Hampden heroics against Rangers.

But he accepts the Easter Road now have to show the same spirit and determination over and over again during a nightmare spell if they are to be successful.

Cadden was a pivotal performer in Sunday’s stunning 3-1 success against Rangers to set up a December 19 showdown with Celtic in the Premier Sports Cup final.

It was in stark contrast to the wing-back’s first start for the club against St Johnstone at the same stage of the same competition back in January.

That 3-0 hammering haunted Hibs for weeks and months - and was only made worse when they lost the Scottish Cup final in May to the same opponents.

Cadden missed that showpiece climax to the Scottish season after breaking a bone in his back.

But the former Motherwell player was delighted his return to the national stadium had a happier outcome.

He said: “It was tough last year. That was my mindset going into the game, just thinking about how I missed out on the [Scottish Cup] semi and final last year.

“My first game for Hibs was the [League Cup] semi against St Johnstone, so it’s sort of a big one for me just to go through right and go and enjoy it.

“It was tough to miss them last season, especially the Scottish Cup final, it was really difficult. I was gutted.

“The boys didn’t go and win it but it was difficult as a player not being able to play. To be able to do that on Sunday was brilliant.

“I’ve been fortunate to have some really good days in my career. Obviously I got to a couple of cup finals with Motherwell, but Sunday was right up there.

“I don’t know what it was about Sunday, it was just different. The fans, the atmosphere, was brilliant and even after it, it was great. It’s something we’re going to look back on for a while and it’s at the very top there.

“But the games are coming thick and fast, so it’s sort of a case of bring it on. That’s what it is.

“It’s a massive game against Ross County because we’ve not been in the best form in the league so we really need to get kick-started there.”

Hibs had lost four on the bounce before an outbreak of coronavirus in the squad led to matches against County and Livingston being postponed.

Jack Ross’ side had not played in almost a month when they took to the pitch at Hampden and now face an incredible 12 matches in just 40 days.

But, having dropped to seventh in the table, Cadden is adamant they are ready to make the most of the busy period coming up.

With County bottom after winning only once in the league this season, Cadden added: “We never lost faith in what we do and the gaffer always said that.

“Yes, we’ve been questioned, and we weren’t in the best of form. But, for me, going into [Sunday’s] game, there was no better game to go and put in that performance.

“That was the mindset going into it. We had a couple of weeks building up to it and the training week was brilliant.

“It was the perfect game at the perfect time for us and fortunately we were able to get the win as well, which was brilliant.

“Sunday was a big game for us to step up and get the confidence and belief back. But Wednesday is just as big for us. It’s a massive game for us to kick on in the league.

“We won’t take County lightly. That’s the nature of the league. If you look at the fixtures there are no easy games.

“The standard is brilliant and the teams are good, so every game you have to be on top form.

“Ross County are bottom of the table and they are fighting. They will be desperate for a result as well.

“So it’s up to us to match that fight and take the game to them.”