Result: Heart of Midlothian 2 - 0 Hibernian
Well Derby Day in the capital came and went. The players in the starting team for Hibs may have been different but the end result was the same. A Hearts win.
Going into the game there was nothing to separate the teams. Hearts are on a terrible run and Hibs are fighting relegation at the foot of the table. In fact, in this calendar year it could be argued that Hibs have been the better team. Except when it comes to the Derby.
I don’t know why but every time a derby comes around it doesn’t matter what happens off the pitch, previous derby performances or recent from, Hearts always turn up and Hibs never help themselves. That is the most infuriating aspect of all. Being beat is fair enough but not turning up for the first half is not acceptable. In fact the first 45 was very ‘un-Fenlon’ and much more ‘Calderwood-esq.’
Hearts settled first in the game and knocked the ball around Hibs with ease. There was no composure from any of the Hibs players and it almost at times looked like we had forgotten how to pass to other green jerseys. There was a fear and lack of confidence from the Hibs players which was in stark contrast to the players in maroon.
At half time, Hibs went in 1 nil down. It was far and away the worst 45 we had played in weeks and terrible that we chose the Edinburgh Derby to do it in. The second half though was such a turn around. Hibs came out firing and really caught Hearts out. The biggots in the Hearts end had nothing to sing about and Hibs pressed and worked harder. Having not mustered a shot on goal in the first 45 there was more chances in the second. The best of them falling to O’Donovan who with a flick header couldn’t sneak it past McDonald in goal.
For all our valiant efforts in the second half we just couldn’t score. Too many players just didn’t perform. Although the second half was an improvement it still wasn’t good enough. Players like Stevenson, who have been Hibs best player this season, didn’t perform and I don’t know why. The midfield was over run and the strikers got no service, not a great combination.
How can we stop the rot? Well they say confidence breads confidence. Hearts are now 10 undefeated in derby games. Hibs have had 3 managers since we last won and it looks like its going to be a challenge to stop this pattern. The team we have now is temporary and is good enough to avoid relegation but come the summer we need to sign big characters and players that know what these games are all about. The fans are always up for it so why are the players not?
One thing is clear though. Hearts go into this game believing they can win. Hibs go in hoping and there is a massive difference. This needs to change as Hearts are not so much better than us that we should fear them in any way.
If Hearts are still around come the next derby I hope things will be different. Attitude was what won us the game against Ayr and we need to show more of it against them.
The longer the run without a win though, the sweeter it will be when it comes around.