History on the line as Rangers & Hearts meet in final

“You’ve got to remember that you are making history."

For all the talk of the gulf in resources and expectations, Rangers and Hearts have one crucial commonality. Both are searching for their first Scottish Cup success on Sunday, live on BBC One Scotland.

Jo Potter's Rangers are the favourites, with a trophy double on the cards after victory against Partick Thistle retained the League Cup in March.

But Eva Olid's underdogs have spoiled the party before. Their first win over Rangers last month was dubbed "the result" by Potter that lost the eventual runners-up the league title.

Revenge in the air? Possibly. Nerves jangling? Probably. Will we be across it all? Positively.

'We have to believe we’re the best… what’s the point otherwise?'

While it was never in their hands, the SWPL title was within touching distance for Rangers on Sunday when they were cruising 4-0 against Thistle, until Celtic found a 90th-minute winner to yank the trophy to the east end of Glasgow.

Emotions were high, the hurt was raw. In the heat of the post-match emotion, Potter said Rangers "feel like the best team in the league".

The table doesn't lie though, does it? Despite concurring with that, Potter still doubled down on her assessment.

“I feel like we are the best team in the league, but it’s opinions, football would be boring without it, wouldn’t it?" the former England international told BBC Scotland.

"You don’t win things thinking you’re not the best team in the league so we have to behave like winners, act like winners and believe we are winners."

For the majority of the 39-year-old's maiden season in charge, they have been just that. Winners.

With only two defeats domestically, it's been nearly flawless. But in the cut-throat SWPL, nearly is rarely enough.

For large chunks of the campaign, the utterance of 'the treble' was consistent, but constantly quashed from the camp. After a 1-0 defeat at Hearts last month, it disappeared from most people's lips.

“I think that was absolutely the result," Potter admitted.

"We had 30-odd attempts. Their goal was even a half-chance, we didn’t really look like conceding, but the one that we did concede could ultimately be the point we needed."

That result has been shelved but the ultimate disappointment on losing the league is one the head coach wants her players to seep in and use as fuel in Sunday's showdown.

Add in the heartache of losing out at Hampden last season to Celtic, and motivation shouldn't be hard to muster.

There is the small matter of securing a cup double, too. A feat Potter would have "snapped your hand off at" if offered at the beginning of the season.

The two-time FA Cup winner was part of the Birmingham City side that won the competition for the first time and wants her players to write their names in the history books like she did with the Blues in 2012.

"You’ve got to remember that you are making history," she said. "To be the first ones to do it is a special feeling.

"You’ll always be the one who’s paved the way and set the tone and that is exactly what we want to do.”

'They have an obligation to win, for us it's a dream'

When the nominations for SWPL manager of the year - which Potter went on to win - were announced, Olid's omission raised eyebrows.

In her three years in charge, she's taken Hearts from bottom of the league to back-to-back fourth-place finishes and a first cup final. And the Spaniard has no plans of stopping there.

"We still want more. I really want to win titles, but I know it’s little by little," she said.

Milestones have been hit this term though. In addition to the win against Rangers, Hearts drew with both Celtic and Glasgow City. Last season they finished 29 points short of third, this term the deficit was 19.

Progression Olid is proud of, but she craves more than that. She's eyeing a change in vernacular, away from the "boring, big three" narrative.

“We want to win more consistently against them," she added. "We celebrated big the win against Rangers but we want that to be normal, we want to do it more often.

“We want to stop talking about the top three, that’s the objective. It’s so boring, ‘top three, top three, top three’, we want to stop that.”

If Hearts celebrated the league win in style, one can only imagine the party bus back along the M8 on Sunday night should they stage a shock.

And that it would be. Although this trophy has eluded Rangers, it's their fourth consecutive domestic final while Hearts are entering unchartered territory.

“We have to believe we can beat them, because if not, what is the point?" Olid said.

"But at the same time, we have to enjoy the experience, we don’t have any pressure.

“They come with a lot of pressure, the normal thing is they win, they just have to, if not it could be a disaster for them."

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