Heart of Midlothian will return to Hampden Park this season for their second semi-final after dispatching Greenock Morton 1-0 in a tough encounter at Cappielow on Monday night.

It has set up a rerun of the League Cup semi-final when Hearts were defeated 3-1 by Rangers in Mount Florida.

"It will be a tough game but every semi-final is going to be tough," Steven Naismith said of the draw. "On top of that you have got the occasion but fortunately we have already been in a semi-final this season, so we have got to use that. And we will look forward to it.

READ MORE: Hearts head to Hampden Park: Gordon class, Morton test, chances

"We have worked hard all season to get through the rounds to these later stages. We have had a good bit of progression from the last semi-final and we want to progress again in the cup to give ourselves that chance to win it. You’ve got to have that demand and hunger to win trophies and we are building that. Hopefully, we can have a good day."

The excellent Hearts Heritage revealed to Hearts Standard it is just the fifth time Hearts have played in the Scottish Cup and League semi-final in the same season since the latter competition was introduced in the 1946/47 season.

Remarkably, three of those seasons have come since 2018/19. 

Hearts were well beaten in the League Cup semi-final by Celtic at Murrayfield in 2018 but made the final of the Scottish Cup when they defeated Inverness CT 3-0 at Hampden. The following season the team lost 3-0 once more in the League Cup semi-final, this time to Rangers but then won the delayed Scottish Cup semi-final, defeating Hibs 2-1 after extra time at an empty Hampden Park due to Covid.

It will be hoped the pattern continues in April.

READ MORE: Dougie Imrie: It should be Morton and not Hearts in the Scottish Cup semi-final

The two previous occasions came in 2005 when Hearts lost both semi-finals. First to Motherwell at Easter Road in the League Cup then to Celtic at Hampden in the Scottish Cup. The first time it happened was in season 1976/77. Again, Hearts lost both fixtures, 2-1 to Celtic in the League Cup and 2-0 to Rangers in the Scottish Cup.

Hearts Heritage offers some context as to why it happened to so little, certainly in the early years of the League Cup. The competition which Hearts last won in 1962 had a difficult format whereby the 16 top-flight clubs were drawn into four groups of four. Only the winners of the groups progressed to the quarter-final where they faced lower-league opposition who emerged through groups they were drawn into. Hearts failed to emerge from the group stage in 11 consecutive seasons after winning in '62. 

That format lasted until the 1976/77 season. The following year it was replaced by a knockout that involved two legs in each round until the semi-final which was a one-off game before the final.