Stevenson pens new Hibs deal
Thu, 14 Mar 2013 15:44:00
Assistant manager Joe Gallen is under no illusions about the task facing Millwall in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Lions captain Danny Shittu headed the only goal to sink Blackburn 1-0 in a quarter-final replay at Ewood Park and book a Wembley date against Wigan next month - a rematch of the 1999 Football League Trophy final at the old national stadium that the Latics won 1-0.
Eight seasons in the Premier League mean such humble competitions are a thing of the past for the DW Stadium outfit, and Gallen believes that time at the top table gives them a clear advantage.
"They're a Premier League team and they're the favourites," he said.
"They'll have spent a lot more money on their team than we do on our team.
"We go there as underdogs but - like in any game of football - you don't just go there for a day out, you don't go there just to make the numbers up.
"When we get round to the Wigan game we'll put together a plan and see if we can go and perform well and see what we can do.
The Lions are currently in 17th position in the Championship - five points above the relegation zone, but Gallen won't let talk of a possible European adventure distract his side.
"There's been noting said about that, not from the staff," he added.
"The players talk about whatever they talk about and we don't get to hear that.
"If you look where we are in the league, right now, even though we're getting to the semi-final of an FA Cup, the focus is straight away Charlton on Saturday.
"It's a London derby and we've usually performed well in London derbies in the last five and a half years."
Blackburn also have work to do to a avoid a second consecutive relegation as they lie and point and a place better off than Millwall having played a game more.
A graduate of the Hibs academy, the 25-year-old made his first-team debut in 2005 and has since recorded 172 appearances - winning last season's player of the year award.
Stevenson, the club's longest-serving player, said: "I'm really pleased to have agreed another contract with Hibs - this is a special club and I feel privileged to be a part of it.
"If somebody had told me when I first joined Hibs as a 14-year-old that I would still be at the club 11 years later then I wouldn't have believed them.
"Hibs have played a big part in my life over the years - it's my club - and I'm really excited about the future and what we are building here."
This season Stevenson has been utilised in centre midfield, left-back and right-back but he stressed that he is always willing to put the needs of the team first.
He added: "I'm happy to play wherever the manager decides I should play - I will always give my all for Hibs, although I've yet to play in goals or up front."
Manager Pat Fenlon believes the player has a key role to play in the continued development of the club.
He said: "Lewis has a fantastic attitude and he always works incredibly hard for the team - he is a good professional.
"We are building a club here and one of the key factors behind making that become a reality is continuity, which means retaining important players.
"Ever since I joined the club, Lewis has been great and never sells himself short. He always gives everything for the shirt and I'm delighted to have him on board for the next two years."