{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"football","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/rudi-skacel-hibs-fans-abuse-drove-me-to-make-5-1-gesture-1-4342536","id":"1.4342536","articleHeadline": "Rudi Skacel: Hibs fans’ abuse drove me to make ‘5-1’ gesture","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484778513000 ,"articleLead": "

Rudi Skacel claims his “5-1” gesture to Hibs fans last month was fuelled by a sense of grievance about abuse from the stands which he felt went beyond an acceptable level.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4342535.1484778136!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rudi Skacel gestures to the Hibs fans at Easter Road. Pic: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

The Hearts icon found himself cast as the pantomime villain on Raith Rovers’ visit to Easter Road on Christmas Eve when he signalled the scoreline of the 2012 Scottish Cup final – in which Skacel helped the Tynecastle side beat their city rivals 5-1 – while being jeered as he was substituted in the 74th minute of the 1-1 draw.

This move further angered a home support who had already been irked by a couple of heavy tackles from the Czech, with Hibs midfielder Dylan McGeouch suggesting afterwards that Skacel could easily have been sent off for a combination of fouls and his antagonistic gesture.

However, the 37-year-old, speaking for the first time about his tempestuous trip to Leith, insists the focus should be on the continuous vitriol he feels he is subjected to from Hibs fans as opposed to his own relatively harmless retort. Skacel claimed that he was again branded “a refugee” – he has been the subject of chants to this effect in the past from Hibs fans and former players Derek Riordan and Leigh Griffiths – and described his treatment as “embarrassing for all of Hibs’ community”. Asked why he made the gesture, Skacel said: “I was not happy I didn’t score against them, and I wanted to pay them back a bit. I waved to our supporters, I showed them [Hibs fans] 5-1. I was just showing them that they can’t change history. It was just a number. But I’m shocked that such a big deal was made about what I did when no-one cares how they treated me for ninety minutes out there. They called me a refugee and other names.

“Instead, you [the press] should care about how they treat people. I had young kids and their parents calling me names, and they think it’s fine. I think it’s embarrassing. You should write about these things instead [of the 5-1 gesture]. Of course, it is painful for them [5-1] but it is just football. The abuse is always bad [at Easter Road]. There are guys dressed up in suits [shouting abuse]. The kids repeat what they hear from the adults next to them.

“How would you react if people called you a refugee? But I do a gesture and they react by criticising me and saying I should be banned from football. I was shocked. It is embarrassing for all of Hibs’ community, in my opinion.”

Skacel, who scored five goals against Hibs in his two spells with Hearts, insists he understands the emotive nature of football rivalry, but believes there has to be a boundary to the level of abuse which he and other players can be subjected to from the sidelines.

“I played for Hearts and we beat them on so many occasions and I scored a few goals against them, so I understand why they don’t like me, but it should be more about banter,” said Skacel, who will hope to play a part when Raith Rovers host Hearts in the Scottish Cup on Sunday. “There needs to be a line, and I think in every game, they [Hibs fans] are crossing it.

“We are human beings. If you go to rugby, it shows a different example of how people support their club. It can be a war on the pitch and there can be fun and banter about what is happening on the pitch, but in soccer stadiums, I think what is happening sometimes is embarrassing. It doesn’t bother me too much, but it is a shame for football generally.

“Scottish football needs these big derbies between Celtic and Rangers and Hearts and Hibs. You play football for big occasions like that and like this Sunday’s game [between Raith and Hearts], but you have to be sensible.”

Despite living in Edinburgh throughout his time in Scotland, Skacel has generally managed to steer clear of trouble away from the pitch. Asked if he had ever encountered hassle on the streets of the Capital, he said: “No. Edinburgh is a big city but the bigger half is Hearts supporters. All the Wee Team [Hearts fans’ nickname for Hibs], they just live on the other side. I’ve not had any major trouble. Hopefully, touch wood.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4342535.1484778136!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4342535.1484778136!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rudi Skacel gestures to the Hibs fans at Easter Road. Pic: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rudi Skacel gestures to the Hibs fans at Easter Road. Pic: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4342535.1484778136!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/rudi-skacel-ready-for-emotional-last-encounter-with-hearts-1-4342561","id":"1.4342561","articleHeadline": "Rudi Skacel ready for emotional last encounter with Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484778600000 ,"articleLead": "

Sunday’s showdown at Stark’s Park is almost certain to represent the last time Rudi Skacel, one of the biggest names in the club’s history, will play a competitive game in front of the Hearts support. Given the nature of the Czech’s decorated history with the Tynecastle club, it is fitting that this moment is set to come in a Scottish Cup tie.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4342560.1484770732!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rudi Skacel parades the Cup in front of the Hearts fans after scoring a double in the 5-1 demolition of Hibs"} ,"articleBody": "

He may now be wearing the dark blue of Raith Rovers – and, if recent weeks are anything to go be, is likely only to play a cameo role at best – but the 37-year-old is guaranteed an emotional show of appreciation from 3000 travelling Hearts fans eager to say farewell to a man who has played a significant part in lighting up their lives over the last 12 years.

Approaching his 38th birthday and likely to retire from professional football at the end of this season, it can be said with confidence that the last match of Skacel’s magical alliance with the Hearts will go down as the 2012 Scottish Cup final, when he scored two goals in a 5-1 demolition of city rivals Hibs. In total, over two stints in Gorgie – which encompassed just three seasons – he scored 48 goals, won two Scottish Cups and was the talisman of teams that finished second (in 2005/06) and third (in 2010/11) in the top division.

Since kicking his final ball for Hearts at Hampden almost five years ago, Skacel has played against them twice, for Dundee United in 2012/13. Although he is fully focused on trying to do his best for Raith Rovers on Sunday, he admits that there is a degree of awkwardness involved when his job means having to end the Scottish Cup dreams of a support who idolise him and helped “give him super powers”.

“Will it be emotional for me? It will be different because it is Hearts,” he admitted. “It will be strange to play against ‘my’ Hearts. It is 90 minutes playing against supporters who always got behind me. It’s a special game, I won’t lie. It could be my last against them. I don’t have anything special planned [for the fans], honestly. It’s too early. I don’t even know if I will play.”

Asked if he would celebrate if he scored for Raith against Hearts on Sunday, he laughed: “No comment. Ask me again after the game.”

Skacel cherishes his bond with the Hearts fans, who took to him instantly in 2005 and will forever view him as one of the greatest figures in their club’s history. “I am proud that I have a special relationship with the Hearts fans,” he said. “These three seasons were great for the club. I was top scorer each year, we won two Scottish Cups and it was amazing. I am pleased about that.”

Skacel’s “special” relationship with the Hearts supporters was established when he scored nine goals in his first 12 games for the club as George Burley’s new-look team stormed off to an unlikely title charge in 2005. Recalling the early days at Tynecastle, he said: “It was a strange situation at the start. I was a last-minute arrival and we had a new squad – but we had this amazing start to the season. It was new Hearts, there was a great feeling around the club and, after seven games, we were top of the league.

“There was an amazing atmosphere around the club with the players and the supporters. I always said the Hearts fans gave me super powers because it was an amazing place to play. It didn’t happen overnight. It takes a while to build a relationship with supporters but we started so well. It was like a miracle at the start of that season. The players came together at the last minute and we had such a good start.”

Asked whether Vladimir Romanov’s inexplicable decision to sack Burley while Hearts were top of the league in October cost them their chance of the title, Skacel said: “I don’t know if we could have won the league. I don’t have a crystal ball. But that’s football. It’s why it is so exciting for supporters and players. We can speculate and say, ‘This might have happened’ but we don’t know.”

In the end, Hearts beat Rangers to second place in the league and then defeated Gretna in the 2006 Scottish Cup final before Skacel followed Burley to Southampton. He returned to Tynecastle four years later and, incredibly, found a way to enhance his stock further in the eyes of the Hearts support by ending two relatively fruitful campaigns under Jim Jefferies and then Paulo Sergio with his match-defining double against Hibs in the 2012 Scottish Cup final.

“It was one of the games that I will definitely remember for the rest of my life because it is a famous game in Scotland and in Edinburgh,” he said. “You might have to wait another 100 years to see a Hearts-Hibs game in a big final like that. It’s in the past but I have great memories. It was amazing for the whole community and it was a great result. The parade around Edinburgh, after both finals, were my favourite memories. People say that the moments after the game are the best, but the bus parades through the city were amazing. I will remember them for the rest of my life.”

It is important to point out, amid this maroon-tinted trip down memory lane, that Skacel wants his current club, who are badly out of form in the Championship, to beat his former one on Sunday. “We are professionals, it’s a Scottish Cup tie and I want to do well, even though it’s against my former club,” he said. “It’s an important game for us. We aren’t on a great run right now but this is a different competition. It’s the Scottish Cup, it’s live on TV and it’s a big game for the club and our young squad. It will be a great day on Sunday and hopefully we can get a good result.”

As he had hinted in an exclusive interview with the Evening News last September, Skacel’s time as a professional footballer is likely to be over at the end of this season, with plans in place to open up his own football academy for children in Los Angeles. “Hopefully there will be some more moments from me on the pitch, but there won’t be many because I don’t think I have many days left in front of me,” he said. “I don’t play much at the moment but I want to enjoy every last minute I have as a player. I have had fun at Raith Rovers and hopefully there are a few more moments on the pitch for me. I think I will finish at the end of the season, but you never know. It depends how I feel. I feel fine just now but you can’t play forever. I’m almost 38 and I am not playing much. We will see. But life doesn’t end when your football career ends. I am prepared for that.”

Understandably considering the success he has had in the tournament, Skacel is a big fan of the Scottish Cup and has a grasp on its importance to supporters of clubs who can only dream of winning the country’s top-flight title. “It’s great for the smaller clubs because they have a chance to achieve something,” he said. “It’s not often Scottish clubs get a chance to win things because Celtic and Rangers are massive clubs who win the league but other clubs can win the cups. The Czech Cup is not as big as the Scottish Cup. Over here it’s something special.”

So, did he tune in when Hibs defeated Rangers in the final last May? “I don’t watch football much so I definitely didn’t see this one,” he laughed. 
“Listen, they lost the big one!”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4342560.1484770732!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4342560.1484770732!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rudi Skacel parades the Cup in front of the Hearts fans after scoring a double in the 5-1 demolition of Hibs","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rudi Skacel parades the Cup in front of the Hearts fans after scoring a double in the 5-1 demolition of Hibs","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4342560.1484770732!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/eight-things-you-should-know-about-hearts-new-boy-andraz-struna-1-4342123","id":"1.4342123","articleHeadline": "Eight things you should know about Hearts new boy Andraz Struna","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484742704000 ,"articleLead": "

Heart of Midlothian confirmed their latest signing with the addition of Slovenian international Andraz Struna.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4342122.1484742651!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts new boy Andraz Struna. Picture: Hearts FC"} ,"articleBody": "

Ian Cathro wasted no time in making the 27-year-old defender his fourth January recruit. Struna has penned a contract until the end of the season, only a day after French midfielder Malaury Martin joined the club on a three-and-a-half year deal.

So what do you need to know about the new boy?

The Slovenian will try to fill the void left by Callum Paterson

Cathro was struck a massive blow when Paterson fell awkwardly in the club’s 4-0 defeat of Kilmarnock, subsequently being ruled out for 10 months. The roving right-back gives the club so much drive and impetus from the right-back position, as well the quality he offers from attacking set pieces.

Struna told the club website: “I’m an attacking full back and I think I’ll be good fit based on the ideas presented to me by the club and the head coach”.

He is a forward-thinking full-back who is positive in possession, aggressive out of it, adding athleticism to wide areas. With the onus on full-backs providing width at full-back he will be adept at fitting in to the system.

He will excite fans

As well as his positivity in taking the ball forward, Struna is a defender who likes to play football. He is comfortable taking possession in tight areas and risky situations, but confident in his ability to play out of danger and take responsibility. Technically sound, he will likely pique fans’ interest with a range of skills and tricks, the step-over and back-heel particular favourites. One aspect of his game that may frustrate fans, however, is his crossing, which requires improvement.

Rustiness may be a factor

The reason behind the short contract may be that Hearts are unsure as to how he will react to competitive action considering he last played a competitive game in April for former side PAS Giannina. The defender has been without a club since departing the Greek top-flight side. He had interest from elsewhere, in both Croatia and Serbia, but has only now committed to a club. A cryptic tweet regarding trusting agents hinted at a possible reason behind his inactivity.

Struna is an experienced international

He last played for Slovenia in a 1-0 friendly defeat to Turkey in June, and has been around the squad for more than four years, winning 25 caps. He faced England in qualification for the 2016 European Championships, making nine starts during the campaign. He was also part of the squad which lost to Ukraine in the play-offs for the competition in France. Struna has not been called up since June, but that may have more to do with his lack of club action. He scored his one and only international goal against San Marino in a 6-0 win.

He is versatile

Hearts fans have become accustomed to their full-backs taking up a range of positions. Whether it is right-footed Faycal Rherras at left-back, Liam Smith providing cover on both sides or Callum Paterson playing everywhere. Struna, predominantly a right-back, is comfortable on the left-hand side, giving the side adequate competition and cover in the full-back positions, and can play further forward if necessary. His last few games for PAS Giannina came on the right of midfield.

He helped create history

Struna helped FC Koper to their first ever Slovenian PrvaLiga, making 21 appearances as a 20-year-old. The small city team, close to the border with Italy, overcame bigger names Maribor and Olimpija Ljubljana to win the league by 11 points. He scored his first career goal in a 2-1 win on the last day of the season. His form in Slovenia saw him move to Cracovia in Poland then to the Greek top-flight.

His brother is also a professional

His younger sibling Aljaz Struna is a fellow defender and plays in Italy with Serie B. He also won the league with FC Koper before moving to Palermo in 2012. He has been in Italy ever since. However, Andraz leads the way in terms of international caps, his 25 bettering his brother’s six.

And finally, he is a big Mario Balotelli fan

The player’s Twitter feed is a shrine to both Slovenian football and Super Mario.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JOEL SKED"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4342122.1484742651!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4342122.1484742651!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts new boy Andraz Struna. Picture: Hearts FC","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts new boy Andraz Struna. Picture: Hearts FC","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4342122.1484742651!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/malaury-martin-i-can-t-wait-to-get-started-at-hearts-1-4341657","id":"1.4341657","articleHeadline": "Malaury Martin: I can’t wait to get started at Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484721037000 ,"articleLead": "

Malaury Martin revealed today that he joined Hearts to play in Europe’s best football environment.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341656.1484673680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "French midfielder Malaury Martin cant wait to get started at Hearts after penning a three-and-a-half year deal with the club. Pic: Hearts Media"} ,"articleBody": "

The 28-year-old French midfielder completed his move to Edinburgh as a free agent after leaving the Norwegian club Lillestrom. His contract there expired in December and he signed a three-and-a-half-year agreement at Tynecastle yesterday.

A graduate of Monaco’s highly-rated youth academy, he has previous experience of British football with Blackpool and Middlesbrough. He cited the atmosphere and passion here as the reason he agreed to return.

Martin will provide Hearts with creativity in midfield as a cultured passer of the ball and he likes to get forward and contribute goals. He confessed he is eager to get started.

“I have played in different countries and I think here is the best in Europe for atmosphere and passion of the people. You can find everything you need to be a football player,” he told the club’s website.

“I’m not a guy who will talk about himself, I prefer to show it on the pitch. Hopefully, I will be scoring goals and have a lot of success with the club. I hope I will be ready quite soon to start to play.

“The facilities here are amazing and the club has amazing potential. You have everything here to play football and enjoy playing at Hearts. I’m excited to see the stadium with the fans inside.”

Martin counts Monaco, Nimes, Blackpool, Middlesbrough, Lausanne, Sandnes and Lillestrom amongst his former clubs. He also captained France at every youth level from under-17 to under-21.

He explained why he was eager to make the move across the North Sea once he heard of Hearts’ interest.

“I played for Boro in the past and I lived in Newcastle, so obviously this was not the first time I heard about the club,” he said.

“I’ve known the club for a long time now. It was great to know about their interest and I’m really happy to arrive here. I really enjoyed my first day and I’m really impatient to get to know the players and start my first training.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341656.1484673680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341656.1484673680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "French midfielder Malaury Martin cant wait to get started at Hearts after penning a three-and-a-half year deal with the club. Pic: Hearts Media","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "French midfielder Malaury Martin cant wait to get started at Hearts after penning a three-and-a-half year deal with the club. Pic: Hearts Media","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341656.1484673680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-sign-slovenian-international-right-back-andraz-struna-1-4341893","id":"1.4341893","articleHeadline": "Hearts sign Slovenian international right-back Andraz Struna","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484734825000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro has made his fourth signing of the January window by capturing Slovenian international full-back Andraz Struna.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341892.1484734770!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "New Hearts signing Andraz Struna. Picture: Hearts FC"} ,"articleBody": "

The 27-year-old right-back has joined Hearts until the summer, after leaving the Greek top-flight side PAS Giannina.

Hearts lost their regular right-back Callum Paterson to injury. The Scotland international suffered a serious knee injuey playing against Kilmarnock last month and was ruled out for up to ten months.

Struna began his career with Slovenian club Piran, then had a spell with whom he helped them to win the Slovenian league title and the Supercup in 2010.

He moved to Poland to join Cracovia followed before signing for Giannina in the Greek Super League in 2013.

Struna has won 25 caps for Slovenia, scoring one goal against San Marino in a Euro 2016 qualifying match.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341892.1484734770!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341892.1484734770!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "New Hearts signing Andraz Struna. Picture: Hearts FC","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "New Hearts signing Andraz Struna. Picture: Hearts FC","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341892.1484734770!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/new-hearts-signing-malaury-martin-can-shoot-like-alim-ozturk-1-4341667","id":"1.4341667","articleHeadline": "New Hearts signing Malaury Martin ‘can shoot like Alim Ozturk’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484721055000 ,"articleLead": "

A free-kick specialist who shoots from 35 yards left Hearts for Turkey just ten days ago. The legend of Alim Ozturk may be challenged immediately by the arrival of French midfielder Malaury Martin, another player partial to a speculative goal attempt.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341666.1484673504!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Malaury Martin played for Middlesbrough during the 2011/12 campaign. Pic: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

“I don’t see any reason why he won’t be good for Hearts. He’s got an unbelievable shot on him and can score from anywhere,” says Kevin Thomson, the former Hibs midfielder who was Martin’s team-mate at Middlesbrough.

“Kind of like the Ozturk goal in the derby at Easter Road? He’s got one of them in his locker. He shoots from 30 or 35 yards and he can put that real dip on his shots. In five-a-side games at training you don’t get a pass from him, he just shoots all the time.”

Hearts have required a creative midfield player for some time and Martin’s arrival on a three-and-a-half-year contract appears to tick the box. The 28-year-old came through Monaco’s youth academy and counts Blackpool, Middlesbrough and Lillestrom amongst his former clubs.

He is known as a cultured, technical footballer who uses both feet to pass well and who can occasionally score spectacular goals.

“You can see he’s been schooled well in a football sense,” continues Thomson. “He’s got nice touches and his style is very European. He’s been well taught in France and he’s a nice football player.

“I’m not really sure if he’s an attacking midfielder or not. He wants to get forward and shoot but at times he played as a sitting midfielder at Middlesbrough. Sometimes he came in off the right.

“He isn’t a player who will skip past people. He’s not a dribbler, he’s a passer. He’ll flick the ball inside and get a one-two then hit a shot, rather than a [Sam] Nicholson or a [Jamie] Walker who can run by people.

“He’s right-footed but he’ll let loose with any foot. When he played out wide he would always want to come inside. He isn’t suited to playing wide so it’ll be interesting to see how the Jambos utilise him.”

Thomson’s comments allied to internet video footage suggest Martin is in the same mould as Arnaud Djoum. The Cameroonian is currently in Gabon on international duty at the African Cup of Nations and isn’t available for Hearts’ Scottish Cup tie against Raith Rovers this Sunday.

“Malaury isn’t dissimilar to Djoum, who I’ve been really impressed with,” says Thomson, now running his own football academy after retiring as a player.

“I would find it difficult to see how they could both play together, but you don’t bring someone in on a three-and-a-half-year deal if you don’t see them playing in your starting line-up.

“It will be interesting to see where he plays because Don Cowie and Perry Kitchen are regular starters for Hearts as well. Maybe Kitchen and Cowie will be the two sitters with Walker, Djoum and Malaury in front of them? I don’t know. Malaury could certainly play in that type of formation.”

Martin was one of France’s most prodigious teenage talents and captained his country at every age level from under-17 to under-21. He made little impact at Blackpool and spent most of his time on the substitutes’ bench at Middlesbrough.

However, he began flourishing in Norway. He joined Lillestrom in 2015 from Sandnes and became a fans’ favourite. “We’re pleased to have got a versatile midfielder like Malaury,” said sporting director Torgeir Bjarmann after signing Martin. “He is a flexible player who can be used on the left wing, centre of midfield and in the No.10 role.”

Hearts lured him to Edinburgh after his Lillestrom contract expired in December. “I was surprised when I saw a three-and-a-half-year deal but Hearts will have done their due diligence. I wish him all the best,” says Thomson.

“The type of players Hearts are bringing in shows they’re being quite astute. They’re using the market quite wisely.

“Malaury was a typical French lad at Middlesbrough, he kept himself to himself. I think the Jambos have got themselves a good player and I’ll be interested to see how he does here.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341666.1484673504!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341666.1484673504!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Malaury Martin played for Middlesbrough during the 2011/12 campaign. Pic: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Malaury Martin played for Middlesbrough during the 2011/12 campaign. Pic: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341666.1484673504!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/bonnyrigg-rose/bonnyrigg-s-ewan-moyes-can-t-wait-for-shot-at-ex-club-hibs-1-4341646","id":"1.4341646","articleHeadline": "Bonnyrigg’s Ewan Moyes can’t wait for shot at ex-club Hibs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484721031000 ,"articleLead": "

If fate had taken a different turn, Ewan Moyes could have been lining up for Hibs against Bonnyrigg Rose on Saturday in their William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round tie at Tynecastle.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341644.1484670526!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ewan Moyes (centre left) holds the Scottish Youth Cup alongside Patrick Deane after their victory over Rangers in 2009. Pic: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

The Perth-born defender – who now plies his trade for the Midlothian Junior outfit – was a fixture of the Hibs under-19 side which became the first in the Easter Road club’s history to lift the SPL Youth League and Youth Cup in the same season back in 2009. The centre back played 111 minutes at Hampden as Hibs won the cup for the first time since 1992 in extra-time with a last-gasp Kurtis Byrne strike in a 2-1 win over Rangers.

Moyes signed professional terms with the Easter Road club when he was 18 under then boss Mixu Paatelainen and was on the verge of a first-team call up when injury struck. Paatelainen was soon replaced by John Hughes and while youth team-mate Paul Hanlon was playing regularly in the first team, Moyes was farmed out on loan and never got the opportunity to make his mark.

Loan spells at Livingston, Arbroath and Brechin City allowed him to gain first-team experience before he was released from his contract in the summer of 2011 and spent a short time with Gateshead. He then returned to Brechin for two years and had subsequent spells at East Fife and Montrose before he arrived at New Dundas Park in 2015, establishing himself as a key part of the Bonnyrigg side which won last season’s East Super League title.

“My time at Hibs was 
brilliant, I really enjoyed it and the club were good to me,” said the 26-year-old.

“Winning the youth cup was brilliant, we were the first team to do that outside Celtic for a long time. It was a great place to be, the new training ground at East Mains had just opened when I was there and the facilities were really good. It was a really good time I had, it was just unfortunate I couldn’t stay longer.

“I was training with the first team for two years then I was out on loan. I was part of the squad and when Mixu was there I was probably going to get involved, I was supposed to be on the bench against Hearts, then I got injured. He said I’d get plenty more chances next year and then John Hughes came in.

“Hughes came in and he didn’t really fancy me to be honest so I spent much of my time out on loan, he never gave me a shot to be fair. It was just one of those things, he never gave me shot and I went out on loan to get some experience at the time, which was a good thing for me.”

Moyes, who works as a managing consultant in Edinburgh for recruitment firm Search Consultancy, couldn’t have wished for a better tie. The opportunity to face his former club at the home of the team he supports, where he had a season ticket with dad from the ages of 5-17 is the opportunity of a lifetime. He might have to settle for a place on the bench though – joking that he’ll come on to preserve their lead against Neil Lennon’s men – with defenders Kerr Young and Dean Hoskins having been manager Robbie Horn’s favoured partnership so far this season.

“I’m delighted to get the chance to play against them,” said Moyes. “It’s the best tie possible for me.

“I played at Ibrox before in front of 50,000, but this game will be probably be the biggest ever for me. I’m a Hearts fan as well, my dad Derek took me to games from when I was a boy. I was a season ticket holder until I signed that first team contract at Hibs, then I had to give it up. Once I started getting towards the end of the youth team, I had to stop going, it was fine to go when I was younger.

“I’ve not been starting recently, so I’m hoping to get back in. I think I’ll have a part to play at some point if I don’t start depending on how the game pans out. Hopefully we are winning and I’ll come on to hold the lead.

“I came on against Dumbarton in the last ten minutes to shore things up after taking the lead and to put an extra man in defence. Hopefully that’s the case on Saturday when we’ve got a 1-0 lead. We are all going to enjoy it and it’s going to be a great occasion for everybody involved. You don’t get many chances like this and we’ll all be ready to grab it.

“I’m hoping to start, but it’s one of these ones where I’ve been out and Kerr and Dean have been doing really well. It’s been frustrating, that’s what the manager has said – he’s wanting to play me. Without being big-headed, I would probably walk in to any other team in the Super League at centre half, it’s just we’ve got three really good centre halves. It’s about the team and there’s a long way to go in the league after the excitement of this game, there’s a lot of fixtures to catch up on so I’ll have a big part to play and I’m hoping to sign on for next season.”

Bonnyrigg are 25/1 with one bookie to upset the holders this weekend, which if they were to do so would surely rank up there with one of the greatest Scottish Cup shocks of all time – a similar feat to that of Berwick Rangers back in 1967 with a first-round 1-0 defeat of Rangers.

Moyes and his Bonnyrigg team-mates are no stranger to shocks, however. Having upset the odds to dispose of Hibs’ Championship rivals Dumbarton in the previous round after a replay, they hold no fear going into Saturday’s tie. Moyes was also a part of the Brechin side which came within a whisker of reaching the semi-finals, drawing 2-2 with St Johnstone at Glebe Park in their last-eight before being edged out 1-0 in the replay.

Moyes added: “We’re massive underdogs, we know it will be a difficult test playing against a team like Hibs. They’ll have a strong team out, they’ll want to win it and they’ll be taking no chances I’m sure.

“It’s the Scottish Cup and when I was with Brechin at St Johnstone we almost got to the semi-finals and I know upsets can happen – it’s the fairytale of the Scottish Cup.

“It will be a different game to the Dumbarton match, with a bigger crowd and bigger pitch. Although they only beat Dumbarton by the same scoreline same as us, Dumbarton have gone on a bit of a run since they played us.

“We’ve got boys that have played in front of big crowds before so I don’t think it will faze us. I don’t see it fazing anyone to be honest, I think we’ll just grab it and try to make the most of it.

“We’ve got a cracking group of boys in there, we’ve done really well to get to where we are. We’ll go out and play 
confidently, we’ll be attacking, we’re not going to sit back, we are going to try and play to 
an extent. I think we’ll play 
our usual formation and we’ll give it a go and see what 
happens. The pressure is on Hibs, not us.

“I think Dumbarton took us lightly and we hope Hibs will too. We are confident going into it, we’ll raise our game, it’s a cup final for us.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT THOMSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341644.1484670526!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341644.1484670526!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ewan Moyes (centre left) holds the Scottish Youth Cup alongside Patrick Deane after their victory over Rangers in 2009. Pic: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ewan Moyes (centre left) holds the Scottish Youth Cup alongside Patrick Deane after their victory over Rangers in 2009. Pic: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341644.1484670526!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341645.1484670529!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341645.1484670529!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Moyes hopes to be involved for Bonnyrigg against Hibs on Saturday. Pic: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Moyes hopes to be involved for Bonnyrigg against Hibs on Saturday. Pic: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341645.1484670529!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/youths-round-up-hutchison-at-the-double-for-hutchison-vale-colts-1-4341528","id":"1.4341528","articleHeadline": "Youths round-up: Hutchison at the double for Hutchison Vale Colts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484721021000 ,"articleLead": "

Hutchison Vale Colts 16s progressed to the second round of the Division 2 League Cup after beating Edinburgh City 4-1 at Forrester High School.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341527.1484661982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hutchison Vale Colts 16s scored two goals in each half during their win at Forrester High School"} ,"articleBody": "

The first real opportunity in the tie fell to Hutchie as Ben Hunter curled an effort from the left of the area just past the post.

City got more and more into the game as the half progressed with striker Cole Cowan twice testing Cameron Bryce in the Hutchie goal. The saves from the goalkeeper proved key as, on the half-hour mark, Hutchie built went 1-0 up. Kyle Hutchison leapt to nod in a cross from the right just inside the post.

Hutchie’s aerial threat paid dividends once again before half-time as Hunter sent a well-timed header just inside the left-hand post.

The foundations were laid for Hutchie and they pressed on in the second half to extend their lead. Scott Clark ran through on goal to steer the ball past the onrushing keeper. Then, five minutes after making it three, Hutchie added a fourth as Hutchison finished well in the area.

City managed to pull a consolation goal back thanks to Luis Wood.

• Leith 14s into cup last four

Leith Athletic 14s progressed to the semi-finals of the Willie Bauld Memorial Cup as they defeated Edinburgh City Blacks 3-0 at Lasswade 3G.

They looked lively in the opening 15 minutes and were rewarded with a goal. Lewis Owens took aim with a free-kick 25 yards out on the right and his effort squeezed into the City goal.

It set up the hosts nicely to push on and it wasn’t long before they doubled their advantage. Another set-piece gave Leith an opportunity and they took full advantage as Strathy Mackay lifted the ball over the wall from the edge of the box and into the net.

City weren’t quite able to make their mark despite working hard in the game while Leith looked hungry for a third goal. After coming close with a handful of chances, they eventually got it. Cammy Stewert saw his initial cross cleared by City but Ethan Wynne quickly teed up Ewan Howie, who beat the offside trap to fire in from close range.

• Lochend 14s ease into the final

Lochend YFC 14s reached the final of the Pilmar Smith Cup with a confident 3-0 win away to Edinburgh City.

On the 3G park at Forrester High School, Lochend just edged early possession and opportunities created. They took the lead midway through the first half as Kyle Smith ventured down the right-hand side before crossing for Jacob Riley to slot the ball in from close range.

Lochend were buoyed by the goal and never looked back as they took control of the tie. They went in search of a second goal before half-time and found another with City unable to settle. Scott Smith broke down the right-hand side and crossed for John Dickson to finish well into the top-right corner.

Into the second half, another Lochend goal seemed inevitable as they rained shot after shot down upon the City goal. Jacob Riley drove into the opposition box before being fouled and he stepped up to fire home the resultant penalty.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS MARTIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341527.1484661982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341527.1484661982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hutchison Vale Colts 16s scored two goals in each half during their win at Forrester High School","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hutchison Vale Colts 16s scored two goals in each half during their win at Forrester High School","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341527.1484661982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-won-t-take-bonnyrigg-lightly-says-neil-lennon-1-4341673","id":"1.4341673","articleHeadline": "Hibs won’t take Bonnyrigg lightly, says Neil Lennon","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484721008000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon has admitted Saturday’s Scottish Cup clash with junior outfit Bonnyrigg Rose has “all the ingredients of a giant-killing”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341672.1484674045!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Neil Lennon may rotate his squad a little for Saturday's clash with Bonnyrigg but insists Hibs aren't taking their Scottish Cup clash lightly. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

But while the Hibs boss revealed he “may look to his squad a little bit” as the Easter Road side begin their defence of the trophy at Tynecastle, he insisted he won’t be taking the threat posed by the reigning East Region Super League champions lightly.

He said: “We are the cup holders, we want to defend the trophy the best we can. It’s a tricky tie, I don’t know much about Bonnyrigg and it’s got all the ingredients of a giant-killing so we have to be very wary of the threat.”

Having said that, Lennon insisted his players will be going into the game on a high with victories over Falkirk, Dundee United and Dumbarton having eased them six points clear at the top of the Championship table with promotion the priority although, he agreed, he’d like to see his side embark on another lengthy Scottish Cup run.

Lennon used the Irn-Bru Cup tie against Highland League side Turriff United earlier in the season to give a number of younger players a taste of first-team action, a move which paid off with a 3-0 win.

Although he may do so again, Lennon’s options will be restricted by the fact David Gray is suspended, the Hibs captain picking up his second yellow card of last season’s competition – and with it an automatic one-match ban which carries over to this season – for his celebrations following his last-gasp winner against Rangers which ended the Easter Road club’s 114-year wait for the trophy.

Paul Hanlon will also be missing in Gorgie, the central defender rested for the 1-0 win at Dumbarton following a cortisone injection designed to ease a pelvic problem which has been troubling him for the past few weeks.

However, Lennon has also seen his squad strengthened by the return from injury of Fraser Fyvie and John McGinn. Fyvie made a surprise start against Dumbarton and left his manager taken aback as he lasted the entire 90 minutes despite a six-game absence caused by a groin tear, while Scotland internationalist McGinn got another 20 minutes under his belt following his ankle operation.

Lennon said: “We took a risk with Fraser, but he made a fantastic contribution. We thought he would get through maybe 55 minutes and then we’d bring on John, but Chris Humphrey felt his calf a little bit so we made that change.

“I might look to the squad a little bit on Saturday, but we won’t take Bonnyrigg lightly.”

• Hibs will face Celtic in the fifth round of the SFA Youth Cup at Ainslie Park on Sunday, January 22, kick-off 2pm. Admission will be £5 (adults), £3 (concessions) while under-16s go free.

The Hibs youngsters have already beaten Tynecastle, Dundee and Aberdeen to reach this stage.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341672.1484674045!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341672.1484674045!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Neil Lennon may rotate his squad a little for Saturday's clash with Bonnyrigg but insists Hibs aren't taking their Scottish Cup clash lightly. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Neil Lennon may rotate his squad a little for Saturday's clash with Bonnyrigg but insists Hibs aren't taking their Scottish Cup clash lightly. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341672.1484674045!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/raith-rovers-ex-hearts-contingent-carry-scottish-cup-fire-1-4341592","id":"1.4341592","articleHeadline": "Raith Rovers’ ex-Hearts contingent carry Scottish Cup fire","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484721006000 ,"articleLead": "

Rudi Skacel, Ryan Stevenson, Kevin McHattie and Jason Thomson, managed by Gary Locke and Darren Jackson. The colony of former Hearts employees at Stark’s Park adds brilliant intrigue to Sunday’s Scottish Cup fourth-round tie in Kirkcaldy.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341590.1484666515!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kevin McHattie is one of several ex-Jambos now at Raith"} ,"articleBody": "

Tynecastle’s current first-team squad head to Fife to face some of their most revered ex-colleagues in an eagerly awaited fixture against Raith Rovers. A packed crowd is expected in front of the BBC television cameras and producers, who quickly identified this tie as a potential powderkeg after the draw.

Stevenson was released by Hearts in summer 2014 after Craig Levein and Ann Budge took control in Gorgie. Locke was relieved of his duties as manager the same day. McHattie moved on the following year after Locke’s replacement, Robbie Neilson, told him he would no longer play regularly. Skacel and Thomson left Tynecastle as long ago as 2012, while you must delve as far back as 2000 to find Jackson’s last outing in maroon.

Skacel, who remains an idol in Gorgie, has twice been denied the chance to rejoin Hearts since his swansong in the final of this competition against Hibs. A combination of red tape, signing embargoes and managerial changes conspired to keep him away.

Everyone above will carry plenty motivation into Sunday’s game, desperate to cause a huge upset for the benefit of themselves and Raith Rovers. They all share the distressing experience of being told Hearts don’t want you any more and will try to use it to their advantage.

“It would be brilliant to put one in Hearts’ faces,” admitted McHattie, who spent a season at Kilmarnock after leaving Edinburgh. “I still have a soft spot for the club and I know people there well. I still go to some of their games and a few of my good mates play for them. I had two draws and a defeat against them with Kilmarnock but it’s one of those games you just need to take in your stride.

“Obviously it hurt having to leave. Robbie Neilson said: ‘You’re welcome to stay but you’re not going to play as many games as you need to.’ Given the age I was [22], we both thought I needed to play most weeks, so it was kind of a mutual agreement. Robbie was up front with me and I thank him for that. Some managers would just have let you see out the end of your contract and stuck you in the under-20s.

“It gave me a fresh start which I think I needed. I was playing for Hearts Under-20s and coming on in a few first-team games. It was a sad time to leave but that’s football.”

The irony that Hearts are now on their third left-back since letting McHattie go 18 months ago isn’t lost on the player. Juwon Oshaniwa and Faycal Rherras – internationalists with Nigeria and Morocco respectively – have failed to convince. Now it is the turn of the German Lennard Sowah, signed last week on a six-month deal after leaving Hamilton Academical.

He could make his debut this weekend in a tie which is a potential banana-skin for the visitors. “I didn’t actually know until my mum texted me saying: ‘You’ve got Hearts in the cup.’ It will be good to see some old faces and they’ll obviously bring a huge support. It will be a great game to be involved in,” said McHattie.

“Having played with Hearts, you know what it means to them in the Scottish Cup. They’ve got history in that competition but everyone here will be fired up for it.”

One of the friends McHattie is out to upset is the Hearts goalkeeper, Jack Hamilton.

“They’ve just lost big Igor Rossi, who was a main player for them at the back, but they’ll have others in. They’ve got big Jack in goals as well, who is one of my good mates. I’m looking forward to playing against him. It’ll be a good laugh if I score against him.”

There is two-fold desire for McHattie and many of Raith’s other younger players. “It’s on TV so a place in the shop window is open for every player who is playing,” the defender pointed out.

“For every young player here, the main aim is to go on to bigger things. This game is a massive game and I’m sure people will be watching.”

Raith welcome the cup distraction having failed to record a league win since October. “I think this has come at a good time for us to take our minds off the league. We can go and play with no fear in the cup.

“We’re looking to be hard to break down. We’ve conceded a few goals in the last few games. We had a good defensive record at the start of the season so we need to tighten up at the back. We need to finish our chances as well. We are creating chances and it’s just not happening for us.

“I’ve been with Gary Locke since my younger days and he’s got everyone in it together here. That gives you confidence and self-belief to know everyone believes in you.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341590.1484666515!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341590.1484666515!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kevin McHattie is one of several ex-Jambos now at Raith","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kevin McHattie is one of several ex-Jambos now at Raith","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341590.1484666515!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341591.1484666524!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341591.1484666524!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "McHattie celebrates Hearts Championship title win with team-mate Jordan McGhee","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "McHattie celebrates Hearts Championship title win with team-mate Jordan McGhee","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341591.1484666524!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/jamie-gullan-bags-treble-in-hibs-xi-win-over-gala-1-4341770","id":"1.4341770","articleHeadline": "Jamie Gullan bags treble in Hibs XI win over Gala","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484689226000 ,"articleLead": "

Jamie Gullan scored a hat-trick as a Hibs XI defeated Gala Fairydean Rovers 5-0 at Netherdale.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341769.1484689172!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie Gullan scored three times for Hibs at Netherdale. Pic: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

The Easter Road outfit sent a young side down to the Borderers, but they dominated the match from start to finish.

Striker Oli Shaw nearly put the Hibees ahead on two minutes when his shot from outside the box cannoned off the crossbar, but they took the lead not long after when his fellow forward Gullan fired high into the net.

Gullan bagged his second of the match on 26 minutes when he was on hand to convert Callum Crane’s cross and they went in 3-0 up at the break when Shaw got his name on the scoresheet, netting from the edge of the box.

Gullan completed his treble on 76 minutes with another composed finish and the Hibees completed the rout late on when substitute Adam Watson side-footed home from close range.

Hibs XI: Martin, Stirling, Waugh, Crane, Dunsmore, Donaldson, F Murray, Breen, I Murray, Shaw, Gullan. Subs: Watson, Paton, Stanley.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341769.1484689172!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341769.1484689172!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jamie Gullan scored three times for Hibs at Netherdale. Pic: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie Gullan scored three times for Hibs at Netherdale. Pic: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341769.1484689172!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/kane-o-connor-signs-first-pro-deal-with-hibs-1-4341679","id":"1.4341679","articleHeadline": "Kane O’Connor signs first pro deal with Hibs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484676599000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs have handed promising defender Kane O’Connor his first professional contract.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341678.1484676543!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

The Scotland Under-17 international has been part of the Easter Road development squad and has been upgraded to a full-time deal following a string of impressive performances for the Hibs youth teams.

“I’m very proud, I’ve worked hard to get to this point for seven years and it’s good to be here,” O’Connor told the club’s official website.

“My goal is to try and break into the first-team in a few years. I’ll keep working hard, keep doing what I’m doing, and I’ll hopefully get there one day.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341678.1484676543!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341678.1484676543!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341678.1484676543!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/french-midfielder-malaury-martin-joins-hearts-1-4341432","id":"1.4341432","articleHeadline": "French midfielder Malaury Martin joins Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484665135000 ,"articleLead": "

French midfielder Malaury Martin is the latest addition to Hearts' squad after signing a three-and-a-half-year contract.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341452.1484663958!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Malaury Martin has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Hearts. Pic: Hearts FC"} ,"articleBody": "

The 28-year-old left Norwegian club Lillestrom at the end of last year and has agreed a deal at Tynecastle until May 2020.

Martin is known as a technically sound midfielder who passes the ball well and can shoot from distance. A graduate of Monaco's highly-rated youth system, he has previous experience of British football with English clubs Blackpool and Middlesbrough.

Martin has also played in Switzerland for Lausanne. He was most recently in Norway with Sandnes and, for the last 18 months, Lillestrom. He has captained France at every youth level from under-17 to under-21.

He joins defenders Aaron Hughes and Lennard Sowah as Hearts' new recruits for January, with head coach Ian Cathro also keen to add more new faces.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341452.1484663958!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341452.1484663958!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Malaury Martin has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Hearts. Pic: Hearts FC","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Malaury Martin has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Hearts. Pic: Hearts FC","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341452.1484663958!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341431.1484655125!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341431.1484655125!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts' new signing Malaury Martin in action for first club Moncao","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts' new signing Malaury Martin in action for first club Moncao","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341431.1484655125!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/nine-things-you-should-know-about-hearts-signing-malaury-martin-1-4341501","id":"1.4341501","articleHeadline": "Nine things you should know about Hearts signing Malaury Martin","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484659996000 ,"articleLead": "

Malaury Martin becomes Heart of Midlothian’s third January addition, signing a three-and-a-half year deal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341500.1484659942!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts new boy Malaury Martin in action for first club Monaco. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The 28-year-old French midfielder joins Lennard Sowah and Aaron Hughes as Ian Cathro continues his reshaping of the Hearts squad. Here is all you need to know on the Tynecastle new boy.

He was one of the most highly-regarded players in France

Martin came through the much-vaunted youth academy at Monaco, representing France at a variety of youth levels. His biggest success was with under-19 side which reached the semi-finals of the 2007 Uefa European Championship. Martin hit a double in his country’s 5-2 defeat of Serbia, and was selected by Uefa as one of 11 players earmarked for a bright future.

Experienced and a leader despite a lack of football

At the age of 28-year-old, the midfielder has not played nearly as many competitive games as he should have with less than 120 appearances in a career which has spanned four countries. However, experience of different cultures will help him settle to Edinburgh. He was regarded as a natural leader at an early age, captaining France at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level, as well as Monaco’s second team.

Norway has brought the best out of him

His time in Norway suggests Martin is over injury problems which have stunted his development. He has played more games in the last two seasons combined than in his career previously – the first occasions he has played more than 20 league games in a season. His form in the second tier with Sandnes Ulf encouraged five-time Eliteserien winners Lillestrom to sign him. His eight league goals in 2016 helped them avoid relegation, starting 25 of 30 games.

He’ll add goals and composure to the Hearts midfield

When Uefa picked him as one of the star performers in the European Under-19 Championship they said about Martin: “Always looks composed on the ball and never seemed to give away possession in the engine room of a French side that at their best were as good as any in the tournament. Equally adept at passing short and long.”

He can play in the centre of midfield but has been best deployed as an attacking midfielder in Norway with a free-role. He is inventive and has an eye for a pass.

He’s a free-kick specialist

Few phrases in football excite fans as much as ‘free-kick specialist’. Hearts fans were fed the same line about Denis Prychynenko, who came through the youth system. Only for the midfielder to disappoint. However, fans should be more confident about Martin. There is tangible evidence, not only for his ability over free-kicks but shooting from distance.

His career was hampered by Kilmarnock

Martin was signed by Blackpool ahead of their maiden English Premier League campaign following a successful trial. However, he never played for the Tangerines after suffering cruciate ligament damage in pre-season friendly with Kilmarnock. He was left out of the club’s 25-man Premier League squad.

Tony Mowbray signed him for Middlesbrough

The former Hibernian manager made the then 22-year-old his first summer signing in 2011, telling the club’s official site: “Malaury can do a bit of everything and will be a useful addition to our midfield.

“He can pass, tackle and defend and he has a great shot on him, so we will try to utilise his talents.”

Although, as it turned out, Mowbray wasn’t overly keen, Martin failed to make a start in the Championship, coming off the bench on 15 occasions in the league.

He has rubbed shoulders with the very best

During his time with Monaco he trained alongside Patrice Evra, Maicon, Marco Di Vaio, Christian Vieri and Yaya Toure, who is credited as the best player Martin has encountered.

He has a desire to play football

Between July 2012 and February 2013 Martin was without a club but never thought about packing it in, even when the phone stopped ringing. While he may be 28 years old there is still a lot of football left in his legs if he can remain fit, which the most recent seasons suggests he can.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341500.1484659942!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341500.1484659942!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts new boy Malaury Martin in action for first club Monaco. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts new boy Malaury Martin in action for first club Monaco. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341500.1484659942!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/donaldson-spying-mission-underlines-hibs-task-for-bonnyrigg-1-4341070","id":"1.4341070","articleHeadline": "Donaldson spying mission underlines Hibs task for Bonnyrigg","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484634647000 ,"articleLead": "

Bonnyrigg Rose defender Ruaridh Donaldson conducted a recent spying mission at Easter Road to see Hibs at close quarters ahead of their Scottish Cup tie.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341068.1484588882!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ruaridh Donaldson"} ,"articleBody": "

The youngster was in the Dundee United end a week past Friday for the top-of-the-table Championship clash, with his younger brother Coll Donaldson a Tannadice defender.

The match only served to reinforce the quality the Junior outfit will come up against in their sold-out fourth-round tie at Tynecastle this Saturday, with the Hibees running out comfortable 3-0 winners. The left-back is likely to be pitted directly against recent Hibs signing Chris Humphrey should he start, with the right winger making an instant impact on his debut against United.

“It was good because Hibs sold out about 16,000 tickets and Dundee United had about 2500, so it was a good atmosphere,” said the 23-year-old.

“Hibs were really impressive on the night, they looked really strong. I think you can see now the impact that [Neil] Lennon’s had on the team as opposed to last season. He’s really imposed his style of play, they are a real attacking team and they look good at the back too.

“Humphrey looked good, he’s very direct and fast. He looks to go on the outside of his right foot and, if I’m playing, that’s who I’ll be up against. Across the park, there will be loads of different individual battles and, if we win seven or eight of those, that’s how we are going to win the game. We’ll look to win the one-on-ones and then build from there.

“We’re well aware these guys are seasoned professionals, they’ve all played at a high level before. It wasn’t so much an awakening it was more a realisation that we are going to be playing against these guys. They are such a massive club and the cup holders. It was certainly good to see them in full flight and see what they could do on the day.”

A boyhood Hearts supporter, the opportunity to play against Hibs at Tynecastle where Donaldson’s dad, Euan, and two of his brothers are season-ticket holders, is beyond his wildest dreams. Donaldson will be roared on by around 30 of his family and friends this weekend as Rose bid to do the unthinkable.

Having knocked out Championship side Dumbarton in the previous round after a replay, Bonnyrigg aren’t just turning up for a day out, however. They are confident of giving the holders a stern test and, although playing in front of 13,000 will be new to a lot of the Rose squad, they have players within their ranks who have experienced a packed Ibrox.

“It’s a dream come true, being a Hearts fan from day one and going to Tynie all my days,” said Donaldson. “I’ve been to a few Hearts-Hibs games and just dreamt of playing in a game like that. It will be really cool just to take in that whole experience and I’ll have all my family and all my friends there supporting me. It’s just something to enjoy really. Hibs winning the Scottish Cup last season wasn’t necessarily a dream come true but it’s just added a little bit more to the game with them being the holders.

“Dumbarton are a different side to Hibs, they look to keep it a bit more compact and perhaps hit teams on the break. We kind of just out-Dumbarton’d Dumbarton. They had to come and break us down. The Hibs game will be a different challenge as they are used to breaking down teams and having a lot of the ball. We matched up well against a Championship team, so the hope is we can do that again.

“We can only really imagine what it’s going to be like playing in front of three full stands at Tynecastle.

“I know a number of the boys have senior experience – we’ve got boys that have played and scored at Ibrox. Despite being Junior football players, we do have experience in the squad of playing at a decent level playing in front of big crowds, so I think we will rely on these experienced players to perhaps calm the younger members of the team down. I think everybody will be excited by it.”

Donaldson was given a reminder of just how big the match was when he returned home to North Berwick over the Christmas period, with the youngster taken aback by the interest in the tie. Having played for his local team prior to going to university, he’s certainly come a long way in the past few years and has established himself as one of the first names on manager Robbie Horn’s teamsheet.

Donaldson joked that his fame might rise in North Berwick if they were to knockout Hibs. He added: “I was out in North Berwick for Christmas Eve and it was the talk of the town. Everyone was talking about it, asking me when the game was and the fact they were taking an interest was cool. I’m still a nobody in North Berwick, but maybe if we beat Hibs I’ll be a local celebrity!”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT THOMSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341068.1484588882!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341068.1484588882!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ruaridh Donaldson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ruaridh Donaldson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341068.1484588882!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341069.1484588883!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341069.1484588883!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chris Humphrey","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chris Humphrey","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341069.1484588883!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/cup-quest-will-be-harder-than-ever-for-hibs-stevenson-1-4341062","id":"1.4341062","articleHeadline": "Cup quest will be harder than ever for Hibs – Stevenson","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484634644000 ,"articleLead": "

Lewis Stevenson today admitted it will be harder than ever for Hibs to win the Scottish Cup – but he insisted there’s no reason why he and his team-mates can’t repeat their historic win of last season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341061.1484588244!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lewis Stevenson sees no reason why Hibs can't retain the Scottish Cup"} ,"articleBody": "

The club’s 114-year hoodoo was smashed when skipper David Gray’s last-minute header defeated Rangers last May and now they begin their bid to become the first team outwith the Old Firm to retain the trophy since Aberdeen in the early 1980s when they face Junior outfit Bonnyrigg Rose at Tynecastle on Saturday.

As holders, Stevenson admitted everyone will be looking to topple Hibs, recalling how they’d done exactly that themselves in beating Capital rivals Hearts as they set out to defend the trophy four years ago.

The 29-year-old, the only Hibs player to hold winner’s medals for both the League and Scottish Cups, said: “It was hard enough to win it the first time and it will probably be even harder because people will want to take our scalp being the holders – starting with Bonnyrigg. Teams will rise to the occasion playing against us.

“It doesn’t mean we’ve got any less to play for than we did last year. It would be another massive deal if we can go on a good run. We want to keep the momentum that we’ve created recently and there is no better way to do it than going on a cup run.”

Lifting the cup last season helped soothe the pain of missing out on a return to the Premiership but, while promotion is the over-riding priority for Neil Lennon’s players – currently six points clear at the top of the Championship – Stevenson believes the fans will be just as demanding this time round.

He said: “They’ll want as much silverware as possible. We’ve got good enough a squad to win it so I don’t see any reason why we can’t. It is a tough task because it took us 100-odd years to do it last time so it will be just as hard.

“We’ve been on decent runs in the last few seasons in the cup. We got to the final of the League Cup as well last season. It was a distraction last season, but a welcome distraction. You do try to enjoy the game and hope the fans do too. We’ll enjoy the games when they come but the league is our main priority.”

Hibs made early exits from both the Challenge and League Cups this season, much to everyone’s surprise but Stevenson argued: “It was still pretty early in the season. We were still finding our feet. We’ve not got that excuse now.”

Switching the match to Tynecastle will, Stevenson claimed, bring back happy memories, Hibs having come back from 2-0 down with ten minutes to play to force a draw before beating Hearts in the replay on their way to Hampden last season. The Gorgie ground was also the venue for their League Cup semi-final win over St Johnstone although he warned the stadium is also likely to bring out the best in Bonnyrigg.

He said: “Our recent memories of Tynecastle are good. We’ve had some decent performances and results there, so we’ll look forward to it.

“It’s a good stadium with a good atmosphere. They’ve sold lots of tickets and they’ll be up for playing at a ground like that as well. It will maybe help us rather than going to Bonnyrigg because we are used to it and I’m sure if we perform on the day we should win – but it’s never easy being at Hibs.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341061.1484588244!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341061.1484588244!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lewis Stevenson sees no reason why Hibs can't retain the Scottish Cup","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lewis Stevenson sees no reason why Hibs can't retain the Scottish Cup","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341061.1484588244!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/ian-cathro-no-reason-for-hearts-panic-in-january-sales-1-4340829","id":"1.4340829","articleHeadline": "Ian Cathro: No reason for Hearts panic in January sales","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484634639000 ,"articleLead": "

Ian Cathro is busy in his Riccarton office planning the next stage of his Hearts rebuild. It is a sizeable task given he has lost a total of seven players as things stand. The message he wants to impart to supporters is that there is no cause for panic.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340828.1484602456!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts head coach Ian Cathro and assistant Austin MacPhee"} ,"articleBody": "

Four players have been moved on this month in Igor Rossi, Alim Ozturk, Tony Watt and Juanma Delgado. Another, Callum Paterson, is out injured until the autumn, whilst Arnaud Djoum and Faycal Rherras are on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

So far, only two new signings have arrived at Tynecastle – the veteran Northern Irish international defender Aaron Hughes and 24-year-old German left-back Lennard Sowah. More will follow before the January transfer window closes, however. Head coach Cathro is completely relaxed because it’s all part of his strategy.

He replaced Robbie Neilson in that very office at the start of December and began a quiet reorganising programme which is far from complete. Even when the window closes at the end of the month, Cathro’s work won’t be finished. He will then devise a more thorough and longer-term recruitment drive for the summer.

For now, he wants to replenish his squad with at least one more defender and has also made a striker a priority. Those shipped out were predominantly defenders and forwards so it stands to reason those areas now need urgent attention.

“I have the responsibility of working with the club to make sure that, come the end of this window, the squad is stronger and more balanced,” said Cathro, speaking exclusively to the Evening News. “We want to be ready to compete, more so than we were at the start of the window. I’m fairly relaxed and confident that will be the case.

“We have to work quietly, professionally and as soon as there are things completed then we can make everyone aware of it. There is no reason for panic. We stay calm, we do our work and, come the end of the window, we will be stronger and more balanced than what we were at the start.”

Recruiting Hughes and Sowah were pro-active moves put in place before the expected departures of Ozturk and Rossi. Six-month contracts were given to both but those can be extended if they impress in maroon. It is vital that any new signing fits the team model Cathro and his assistant Austin MacPhee want to create.

“The departures haven’t changed anything drastically. We have a number of things that we’re working on at the moment,” continued Cathro. “It’s that situation where, if you bring someone in before someone leaves, then you don’t need to react the same way.

“We have made some progress, we have some good options lined up, although there is still a bit of work to be done on them. Also, we need to keep looking for anything else that can help us. We will be doing some things.”

The name of Scotland centre-back Christophe Berra sits very close to the top of that list of options. He is keen to rejoin Hearts after eight years in England with Wolves and current club Ipswich Town.

If the 31-year-old can’t negotiate an exit from Portman Road in this transfer window, a summer move back to his formative club would be most likely. Either way, Cathro wants to add at least one more defender this month.

“We expect to add players in the defensive area of the pitch. That was an area where we wanted to do some work and we expect to be able to add more quality in there,” he confirmed.

“The two transfer windows are very different. The summer is the one in which we will direct ourselves forward. We will focus more on it because I think we can get more value and make more of a long-term improvement.”

Also high on the agenda is a striker. Specifically, a different type to what Hearts have at the moment. Cathro is keen on a mobile forward with the instinct to run in behind opposition defenders and take chances inside the penalty area.

“There are players going out so you look at what the options are and we will be looking at options in that area of the pitch. We want to not only strengthen but create competition. We’re looking to bring in maybe a different type of striker,” said the head coach.

“We are looking at every area and we have to accept that January is difficult, particularly for getting those types of players. In each situation where we can make an improvement, we will do our best to try and make that improvement now. Then, the more significant steps can be taken in the summer window as opposed to the winter one.”

Competitive football returns this weekend for Hearts in the shape of a potentially hazardous Scottish Cup tie at Raith Rovers. Hughes and Sowah are expected to make their debuts at Stark’s Park.

The Scottish Premiership’s winter shutdown runs until next weekend, when the Edinburgh club restart with a visit to unbeaten Celtic. Cathro’s record so far reads: Played five, won one, drawn one, lost three. He is eager to get back to business after making the most of the break since the end of December.

“I’m very much looking forward to it. It’s a simple case of looking forward to the next game,” he said. “We’re ready to play and with each day we’ll be a little bit better. We’ve managed to make some value of the time during the winter break.

“Players have had some rest with their families, myself and the staff have had time to work together, reflect and plan the next couple of steps, and we’ve also had time on the training pitch to do some good work.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4340828.1484602456!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340828.1484602456!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts head coach Ian Cathro and assistant Austin MacPhee","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts head coach Ian Cathro and assistant Austin MacPhee","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4340828.1484602456!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/amateurs-tollcross-rue-missed-chances-in-scottish-cup-1-4340873","id":"1.4340873","articleHeadline": "Amateurs: Tollcross rue missed chances in Scottish Cup","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484634621000 ,"articleLead": "

Tollcross Thistle’s Scottish Cup run came to a halt as they exited the competition at the fifth round stage, losing 4-0 to Letham AFC at Saughton.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340872.1484586357!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tollcross Thistles Scottish Cup dream came to an end as they failed to take their chances against Letham"} ,"articleBody": "

Tollcross began the game looking the stronger of the two sides and could well have been ahead before the break, but Stefan Hay and forward Jason Bell both saw chances from close range finish wide of the mark.

Letham then turned the tables and took the initiative. A diagonal ball from the left was aimed at the back post and Dale Smart stabbed the ball home for 1-0.

Tollcross needed to respond, but they found themselves 2-0 down just five minutes later. Letham’s Jamie Ayton was quick to react to a hopeful ball into the box to steer the ball into the Tollcross goal.

As the second half got under way, Tollcross still looked dangerous but they couldn’t find an all important goal. Up the other end, Letham showed clinical finishing to put themselves further ahead with two quick-fire strikes. Billy Carle hammered home at the back post before Mark Donaldson put the tie out of sight. It was job done for Letham as Tollcross could only rue missed opportunities.

• Waverley Athletic loving McDonald Cup

Waverley ATHLETIC made light work of their McDonald Cup quarter-final tie as they comfortably defeated Musselburgh Windsor 5-0 at Dalkeith Campus.

Guy Cairnie got Waverley off to the perfect start as he struck a first-time shot in the box straight into the Windsor goal.

The strike only helped to further lift Waverley’s confidence and it wasn’t long before they doubled their advantage with Windsor struggling as Blair McDonald showed clinical finishing in the box to steer his side two up with a carbon-copy of the opening goal.

It then got even better before the break with Waverley comfortably in the ascendency. Craig Robertson got up well to send a thumping header into the opposition goal.

Windsor hadn’t been in the game and it was a similar story in the second half with Waverley dominating in all areas. Kevin Moffat beat the offside trap to add a fourth before scoring again midway through the half with a tidy finish from close range. As the half progressed, Waverley could have further rubbed salt into Windsor wounds, but they settled at 5-0 in what had been a very one-sided cup tie.

• Sandys line up Craigshill clash

Sandys set up a mouth-watering Scottish Cup sixth-round tie with Craigshill Thistle as they defeated Grangemouth Rovers 2-1 at Castleview.

The first meeting between the two sides was a tight affair that ended 1-1, meaning a replay was required to decide who would progress to the next round.

There were few chances in the opening 30 minutes, with the ball mainly bogged down in midfield, but with the first-half almost up it was Sandys who came closest to breaking the deadlock when James Reilly’s driven strike was saved by Rovers keeper Jason Buchanan.

Sandys came out of the traps flying in the second half and they wasted little time getting their noses in front when Gordon Ramsay slid a square pass across the box for Bob 
McKenzie to stick away for 1-0.

Then, with the momentum in their favour, Sandys added another to firm up their advantage. Reilly was wiped out in the Rovers box and, although Kevin McNulty hit the bar with his penalty, Steven Philp was in the right place to tuck away the rebound.

Sandys were in control and although they conceded a Mark Humphrey goal late on, they progressed to the next round.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4340872.1484586357!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340872.1484586357!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tollcross Thistles Scottish Cup dream came to an end as they failed to take their chances against Letham","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tollcross Thistles Scottish Cup dream came to an end as they failed to take their chances against Letham","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4340872.1484586357!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/handling-set-to-play-for-hibs-xi-against-gala-in-borders-1-4341054","id":"1.4341054","articleHeadline": "Handling set to play for Hibs XI against Gala in Borders","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484634612000 ,"articleLead": "

Danny Handling is expected to take his first step towards a return to action as a Hibs XI travel to face Gala Fairydean at Netherdale tonight.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341053.1484587600!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Danny Handling, right, has been recovering from another knee injury"} ,"articleBody": "

The 22-year-old, who sat out much of last season after rupturing his cruciate ligament in a friendly against Berwick Rangers, hasn’t featured for Neil Lennon’s side having suffered another knee injury in a training session shortly after the home leg of Hibs’ Europa League tie with Danish side Brondby.

Fairydean Rovers boss Steven Noble said: “Eddie May [Hibs academy coaching manager] has promised to send a strong side with first-team players such as Danny Handling getting a chance to aid their recovery.”

The friendly, which will take place at the 3G Arena at Netherdale, kicks-off at 7.30pm. Entry is £3 (adults), £1 (concessions) and children under-16 will go free provided they are accompanied by an adult.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341053.1484587600!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341053.1484587600!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Danny Handling, right, has been recovering from another knee injury","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Danny Handling, right, has been recovering from another knee injury","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341053.1484587600!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/lewis-stevenson-can-t-watch-cup-final-in-case-rangers-win-1-4341049","id":"1.4341049","articleHeadline": "Lewis Stevenson can’t watch cup final – in case Rangers win","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484634605000 ,"articleLead": "

Eight months on and Lewis Stevenson can’t bring himself to watch a re-run of Hibs’ historic Scottish Cup triumph – for fear of seeing himself end up on the losing side once again.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341047.1484594505!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lewis Stevenson joins fans as he celebrates the end of the Preserved Scottish Cup Trophy Tour at the Hibs Supportera' Club"} ,"articleBody": "

And to this day, he revealed, there are still mornings when he wakes up and thinks: “Did that really happen?”

Of course, it did, skipper David Gray’s last-minute header ending the Easter Road outfit’s 114-year hoodoo and celebrations which still continue, Hibs “Persevered Tour” having caught the imagination with the original intention of taking the trophy out to different locations to mark each of those 114 years easily surpassed.

As the tour wraps up this week, 250 visits have been made to a wide-ranging audience, the last couple of outings making it 114 schools alone.

The boy from Kirkcaldy himself has accompanied the cup to several primary schools in Fife to see the excitement a glimpse of the silverware can generate, claiming it might even encourage some of the youngsters to become Hibs fans. He said: “I’ve been done quite a few – not quite 250 – with Sue McLernon [Hibs community engagement officer] and Jim Greechan [the club’s liaison officer]. They are the real stars behind it, the driving force who have kept it going.

“It’s brilliant what they are doing. Sue gives a great talk and, at the schools I was at, the kids were loving it.

“I know what it’s like being at a school assembly when kids are usually like . . . but everyone was totally engaged and asking questions.

“Obviously, there are Hibs fans who have loved to see the cup and even non-Hibs fans as well. I’m sure if I was at school and wasn’t sure who to support, if Hibs came and gave me the opportunity to see the cup it would sway my decision.

“It’s good to branch out for the future. The kids have loved it. At your age, when you see a cup, it’s just a cup, but for the kids it looks amazing. But, to be fair, there’s a few Hibs fans who are still like that when they see it.”

Having suffered heartache in the Scottish Cup finals of 2012 and the following year, Stevenson insisted he didn’t start believing Hibs could win it until referee Steven McLean blew the final whistle on their 3-2 defeat of Rangers.

He said: “I never thought we’d win it. I know I’m not supposed to say that and it’s about being positive. But because I’ve been there so many times before I didn’t want to make myself think about winning it because I’ve done that before and I knew how bad it was when you don’t win it.”

Stevenson admitted he had those thoughts before the 2012 final, the hurt still such he can’t bring himself to mention the name of Capital rivals Hearts, claiming: “I hate bringing it up, but that was probably the time. The squad we had last season was by far stronger than the squad we had then. Even the Celtic one [the following year], we kind of went into that with no pressure but Celtic probably had the better team and were probably going to win.

“But even when people were saying ‘I think you have got a chance’. Against Rangers I never quite believed it. We’d played them six or seven times so we knew each other inside out. It was going to be tight and I never wanted to imagine what it would be like to win it because I knew how bad it would be tasting defeat.”

Joking that Gray has probably watched his moment of glory 100 times over – something he’d have done himself if he’d scored the winner – Stevenson has resisted doing so.

He said: “I’ve honestly never watched it from start to finish. If I watched it I’d still be hyper-critical of myself in the game. I have seen the aftermath of the final whistle – it’s a bit easier than the game itself. I still think I’d feel the pressure of the game even though we eventually did win it.”

Does his refusal to watch the DVD which has been snapped up by thousands of Hibs fans arise from the fact he still doesn’t feel as if the enormity of what he was part of has yet to hit home? “In case I lose, aye,” he admitted, “I hate watching myself on the telly and it’s probably to do with that. My wee boy Louie has watched it a few times; I’ve just poked in and out.

“He loves it and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of times to cherish that moment. But I don’t think it will quite sink in until I retire from football, the achievement and how much it means to everyone in the days that followed. Everything that went with it was amazing.”

Now Hibs face the potential banana skin of Bonnyrigg although, having been part of the Hibs side which defeated another Junior club, Irvine Meadow, at the same stage seven years ago, Stevenson is well aware of the dangers that await Lennon’s players .

He said: “I remember the build-up to that game. John Hughes was the manager and he let us know it would be a tough game. Some of these Junior teams pay good money – it’s not like people playing off the street. Irvine were of a good standard, they brought two or three thousand fans that day.

“I saw a few Junior games when I was younger in Fife and it’s a good standard. I don’t think there would be much difference between a top Junior team and some of the lower league teams in Scotland.

“Bonnyrigg put Dumbarton out in the last round and they’ve beaten Dundee United and Falkirk since then. So we know they are a good team playing at a good level. There’s a few players I recognise from my pro-youth days and players I knew from when I was younger. There’s a boy Fraser McLaren playing for them. He used to play in the Scotland youth teams when I was playing. He was a good player.

“It’s a fine balance between being professional footballers and not. They’ll be a good standard, I’m sure. They’ll have a point to prove. They’ll want to enjoy it.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341047.1484594505!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341047.1484594505!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lewis Stevenson joins fans as he celebrates the end of the Preserved Scottish Cup Trophy Tour at the Hibs Supportera' Club","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lewis Stevenson joins fans as he celebrates the end of the Preserved Scottish Cup Trophy Tour at the Hibs Supportera' Club","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341047.1484594505!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4341048.1484594508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4341048.1484594508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lewis Stevenson has been pleased to participate in the Persevered Tour, hoping some of the starry-eyed kids will become Hibs fans","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lewis Stevenson has been pleased to participate in the Persevered Tour, hoping some of the starry-eyed kids will become Hibs fans","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4341048.1484594508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-to-make-move-for-former-captain-christophe-berra-1-4340099","id":"1.4340099","articleHeadline": "Hearts to make move for former captain Christophe Berra","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484601447183 ,"articleLead": "Hearts will move to bring former captain Christophe Berra back to Tynecastle if he can secure his release from Ipswich Town.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340098.1484492594!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Christophe Berra could return to Hearts if he leaves Ipswich Town"} ,"articleBody": "

The Edinburgh club are amongst the favourites to re-sign the 31-year-old Scotland centre-back, who is keen to negotiate his exit from Portman Road.

Berra is interested in a return to Scotland with his formative club. However, a quick move depends on him agreeing a severance package to terminate the final six months of his Ipswich contract.

Should they insist he stays in Suffolk, a summer return to Gorgie would then be the next option.

Igor Rossi's transfer to Al-Faisaly Harmah of Saudi Arabia on Friday night leaves Ian Cathro and the Hearts coaching staff short in defence. They are now waiting in the wings and will make their move the moment Berra becomes available.

With 34 Scotland caps and eight years experience in England, he is seen as a player who would offer leadership and guidance at the back alongside recent signing Aaron Hughes.

Berra came through the Hearts youth academy and was given his senior debut by Craig Levein, now the club's director of football, in 2003. He came club captain and eventually secured a £2.3million transfer to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2009.

He joined Ipswich in July 2013 but is now ready to end his time in England and return north.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4340098.1484492594!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340098.1484492594!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Christophe Berra could return to Hearts if he leaves Ipswich Town","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Christophe Berra could return to Hearts if he leaves Ipswich Town","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4340098.1484492594!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/east-of-scotland-lothian-keep-cool-after-big-win-over-leith-1-4340913","id":"1.4340913","articleHeadline": "East of Scotland: Lothian keep cool after big win over Leith","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484579053000 ,"articleLead": "

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale manager Raymond Carr has urged his players to keep their feet on the ground in wake of the resounding 3-0 victory over East of Scotland League champions Leith Athletic.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340912.1484578998!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie Devlin bagged a treble for Lothian Thistle HV"} ,"articleBody": "

A Jamie Devlin hat-trick at Meadowbank 3G moved the Saughton-based outfit to within two points of their rivals at the top of the table. Heriot-Watt University, who were idle at the weekend, are also just two points off the summit.

Carr’s men do still have a game in hand over Leith, who had won all eight league fixtures prior to Saturday’s setback.

However, the Lothian boss insists there is no room for complacency in his squad.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s put us in a really good position but, like I said to the players before and after the match itself, it won’t decide anything,” Carr said.

“At the end of the day, it’s just another three points. We’re still third in the league but we do have a game in hand and, if we can win it, then we can go top of the league. There’s still a lot of hard work to be done.

“We couldn’t have asked for any more from the boys. If you’d told me we’d win 3-0 before the game had started I definitely would have taken it. It was hard work but everybody was delighted.

“It could have been more, if I’m being honest. Iain Gordon had a terrific game in goals for Leith and he kept the game alive at times. Players were through one-on-ones so it wasn’t lucky saves or anything like that.”

And, although hugely content with the overall contribution from his players, Carr did single out praise for hat-trick hero Devlin.

“He’s on a right good run of form just now,” he said.

“There were a couple of things off the park earlier on but he’s settled down and he’s got players around that encourage him. That’s a big help.

“It’s all very well putting the ball in the net but he’s got to have those around him who can provide him with chances.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "NEIL McGLADE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4340912.1484578998!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340912.1484578998!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jamie Devlin bagged a treble for Lothian Thistle HV","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie Devlin bagged a treble for Lothian Thistle HV","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4340912.1484578998!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-mull-over-move-for-man-utd-starlet-josh-harrop-1-4340451","id":"1.4340451","articleHeadline": "Hibs mull over move for Man Utd starlet Josh Harrop","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484555204000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs are weighing up a move for highly-rated Manchester United midfielder Josh Harrop, according to reports.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340450.1484555151!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Josh Harrop has represented England at Under-20 level. Pic: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Harrop, 21, is an England Under-20 international and is normally deployed as an attacking midfielder. The Stockport-born playmaker is likely to become Hibs’ main transfer target should the club fail to extend Kris Commons’ loan deal from Celtic, which expired at the weekend.

Hibs are understood to have watched Harrop several times in Red Devils reserve matches and have been impressed by him. United boss Jose Mourinho would not stand in the way of a loan move to Easter Road as he is keen for Harrop to get more first-team football.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4340450.1484555151!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340450.1484555151!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Josh Harrop has represented England at Under-20 level. Pic: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Josh Harrop has represented England at Under-20 level. Pic: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4340450.1484555151!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/edinburgh-city/edinburgh-city-approach-spartans-over-ainslie-park-groundshare-1-4340146","id":"1.4340146","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh City approach Spartans over Ainslie Park groundshare","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484548259000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh City have approached Capital rivals Spartans over the possibility of playing at Ainslie Park next season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340145.1484498865!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh City have enjoyed countless tussles with Spartans at Ainslie Park. Now they hope to groundshare with their rivals"} ,"articleBody": "

The SPFL League Two team are likely to require a temporary home for 2017/18 as Edinburgh Council seek to redevelop Meadowbank Stadium.

A public consultation on the £40m redevelopment of the Commonwealth Stadium ended on the final day of 2016 and the local authority hope to submit a planning application early this year.

The redevelopment would see City eventually playing on a new 3G surface installed within a new running track, with a 500-capacity stand, replacing the current 5000-seat structure. It is hoped that work can begin this year with an anticipated completion date of spring 2018.

City have identified Ainslie Park as a suitable home venue until any work is completed.

“We have been approached by both Edinburgh City and Hibs Ladies to have a match-day groundshare with us,” revealed Spartans chairman Craig Graham.

“City need an alternative home while Meadowbank is being developed and Hibs Ladies wish to play in Edinburgh rather than Broxburn where they currently play.

“Naturally, there are lots of different angles to consider, from letting our close rivals benefit from using our fantastic facilities, to us ensuring better utilisation of our stadium pitch having lost both our men’s East of Scotland XI and our women’s reserve teams.

“The discussions have a way to go. However, it’s my personal view that we should try and help each other where we can, which promotes the game as whole.

“It’s an approach we have tried to adopt since we opened Ainslie Park and it’s amazing the number of times helping others comes back with interest and everyone wins.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ROSS PILCHER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4340145.1484498865!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340145.1484498865!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Edinburgh City have enjoyed countless tussles with Spartans at Ainslie Park. Now they hope to groundshare with their rivals","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh City have enjoyed countless tussles with Spartans at Ainslie Park. Now they hope to groundshare with their rivals","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4340145.1484498865!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/bonnyrigg-striker-mcintosh-targets-hibs-after-derby-double-1-4340167","id":"1.4340167","articleHeadline": "Bonnyrigg striker McIntosh targets Hibs after derby double","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484548243000 ,"articleLead": "

Bonnyrigg Rose striker Wayne McIntosh struck a lethal double to help down local rivals Newtongrange 3-0 and then set his sights on producing the goods to shock Scottish Cup holders Hibs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340166.1484501122!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wayne McIntosh, second right, celebrates his first goal. Pic: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

The 31-year-old’s second-half brace secured all three points before defender Dean Hoskins added a third at the death from the penalty spot in the only junior game to get the go-ahead in the East Region.

Rose were desperate to get the game played ahead of hosting Hibs at Tynecastle in their showpiece fourth-round tie this Saturday. They now go into the visit of Neil Lennon’s side in buoyant mood and will no doubt play without fear as they did in the third round against Dumbarton.

“I feel like it’s been a bit of a stop-start season for me, so I was delighted to get the two goals,” said McIntosh. “I had a wee injury when I fractured a bone in my foot [at the end of November] and that set me back a few weeks, then over the Christmas period I fell ill with the flu so I missed about a week and a half.

“I never made training and I missed a couple of friendlies, so it was hard going. I’ve been doing extra stuff myself to get my fitness back up, but you need games to get match fitness and I feel I’m getting up to there now. I think I’ve given myself a good chance for Saturday, so I’m chuffed. Getting two goals and a full 90 minutes under my belt gives me half a chance going into the Hibs game.”

A boyhood Hearts fan, McIntosh will live out his dream by playing in front of a sell-out Tynecastle this weekend. The prolific frontman has already scored a hat-trick against Hibs at Tynecastle before – his treble helping a Hearts fans’ side to beat their Hibs equivalent 8-1 in a Rivals4Charity encounter in 2014.

McIntosh continued: “When I played there before it was a Hibs and Hearts charity match with big Kiddo [Andrew Kidd]. I scored a hat-trick that day. It was only in front of a couple of hundred folk, never mind 13,000, and it was brilliant that day.

“If it is going to be my last season, playing against Hibs at Tynecastle, it doesn’t get any better than that.

“It’s a massive game for us, it’s the biggest game of my life and for all the boys. We’ll just go out and enjoy the day, go about our business and see what happens.

“It’s just a game, it’s eleven v eleven. We’ve got a good bunch of boys in there, boys that are good players and who could play at a higher level no problem at all and we showed that against Dumbarton.”

McIntosh’s whole family are Tynecastle-bound to support him, although the forward doesn’t know who his 14-year-old son McKenzie will be cheering on.

He said: “My oldest laddie McKenzie is a Hibby and he’s going to the game. He’s going to be in the Bonnyrigg end, but I don’t know who he’ll be cheering on. My mum, my wife and my kids are all coming to watch – the talk about it is unbelievable and people are still wanting tickets, my phone still hasn’t stopped. Everyone is wanting to come and watch. It’s going to be a brilliant day out for the club.”

A minute’s silence was observed before kick-off in memory of Shaun Woodburn, who was tragically killed on Hogmanay, the defender having played for both clubs.

McIntosh should have put Rose ahead on 28 minutes after being teed up by Johnny Brown but he pulled his shot just wide of the far post.

The striker made no mistake when the chance presented itself again, four minutes into the second half, as he lashed home from eight yards out on the rebound after Kerr Young’s header was cleared off the line.

The visitors looked for a route back into the game and, after good interplay between Lee Currie and Jack Wilson, they might’ve got it, but Wilson’s ball into the area couldn’t pick out a black shirt.

And straight away they were punished as Brown sent the ball across goal for McIntosh who steadied himself before firing in to the bottom corner.

Star defender Brian Murray was shown a second yellow card when he brought down Lewis Turner in the box and Hoskins, who missed a penalty last week, made no mistake.

The result leaves Newtongrange still just four points above the foot of the table having played more games than the teams around them.

Manager Stevie McLeish says his side need to have more belief about them: “We competed up until they scored the first goal, but once they scored we didn’t look like we were going to be any match for them at all. We didn’t believe we couldn’t get back into the game, which is disappointing because we had the ability to get back into it.”

Bonnyrigg Rose: Andrews, Archibald (Brown), Donaldson, Young, Hoskins, Horne, Gray, Kidd (Turner), McGachie (McLaren), Nelson, McIntosh.

Newtongrange Star: Amos, Swaney, Murray, Martyniuk, Currie, Morris (Cropley), Wilson, O’Brien (Lally), Lander, Richardson, Bracks.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4340166.1484501122!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4340166.1484501122!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Wayne McIntosh, second right, celebrates his first goal. Pic: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wayne McIntosh, second right, celebrates his first goal. Pic: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4340166.1484501122!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}