PETER HARING has hit back at the critics who doubted Hearts’ Scottish Cup credentials in the wake of their derby defeat to Hibernian.

Craig Levein’s side came in for some unfriendly fire from their own supporters and some pundits after losing to their Capital rivals.

But Haring had no doubt that Hearts would return to winning ways as they beat Inverness Caley Thistle to clinch a final berth.

“Last week was tough,” Haring said. “Of course we lost the derby but I don’t think we deserved it. So it was even harder for us.

“Before the game I read some papers and a lot of ‘experts’ were expecting Inverness to win so I was wondering why? Why do you expect Inverness to win?

“With all due respect to them they are doing quite well but we are still Heart of Midlothian.

“All of our players and all of our staff knew we would be the better team. We are the bigger club and we had to get through the semi-final. It feels really good.

“A game like this does not need extra motivation. When you know you can get to a final…I have never been to one before and when you see pictures and videos of the last time Hearts won the final you don’t need any extra motivation.

“Yes [it is payback for the manager], the whole management staff. When I first came here I saw a big, big chance for me and they gave me the chance to show what I am able to do and improve. But it is not just me, it is all of the players who signed in the summer.”

Goals from Uche Ikpeazu, John Souttar and Sean Clare won it for Hearts but Haring played his part with a solid showing in midfield.

He had to play through the pain barrier as he continues to struggle with an ongoing groin issue.

Haring said: “I did not train during the week because I was sore. I could get through the game but I was not 100 per cent, especially in the second half. But it is not about me, it is just about the team. It is just about the club reaching a cup final.

“It was different. The first half of the season was different – I knew I was having the surgery in the break so it was different. It was a different injury as well. But I spoke to the manager on Friday, he asked me and I told him I was ready. Of course it got worse in the second half but we were up 3-0 and it was quite an enjoyable day for our players, and I enjoyed it as well.

“As long as I can play it is alright, but as I said it is not about me. It is about the team and the club. We achieved our goal today.”