DAVE McPHERSON hopes the fear factor will not undermine tomorrow's Scottish Cup final Edinburgh derby.
The former Scotland international knows all about the pressures of playing in the end-of- season showpiece.
He claimed two winners' medals with Rangers and then helped Hearts defeat Gers in the 1998 final.
But he admits finals don't come much bigger given the Tynecastle side and deadly rivals Hibs haven't gone head-to- head for the trophy for 112 years and the Easter Road club haven't won it since 1902.
Big Slim said: "Given how long it has been since the two sides have met in a Scottish Cup final, or any major final, there is so much riding on the outcome of this game.
"Hampden is a sell-out and probably could have been so twice over. For the winner this will feel like the greatest derby win ever, while for the loser there will be nowhere to go.
"With so much hanging on it I hope the players don't become inhibited but embrace the final and that both sides go out to win the cup rather than to avoid losing it.
"I think it will be tight but I believe Hearts have the overall edge on quality and I feel that can see them through, with maybe a 2-1 final score.
"For me the key battle will be between Garry O'Connor and Leigh Griffiths leading the Hibs attack and up against Marius Zaliukas and Andy Webster at the centre of the Hearts back line.
"The Hibs pairing complement each other really well. O'Connor is big and strong with a good touch, while Griffiths likes to play off the shoulder.
"That said, Zaliukas and Webster are more than capable of turning in the type of dominant performance that will keep the Hibs lads quiet.
"If they do that then with the likes of Rudi Skacel, David Templeton and Andy Driver, Hearts may just have too many match-winners for Hibs."
When it comes to just how much it means to win a the Scottish Cup with a club outside the Old Firm, McPherson was forthright. He said: "The Scottish Cup winner's medal I won with Rangers in 1992-93 was the last part of a Treble which makes it a unique on for me.
"In '94 it was the second part of a Double which was also massive. But with Hearts in 1998 it had been 36 years since their last silverware and it meant so much to the club and the fans.
"And we beat Rangers in the process – there were a whole lot of dif- ferent emotions attached to that one.
"There will certainly be no shortage of emotion at Hampden tomorrow either, for the winners and the losers. But I fancy my old club to do it."