If there is one fixture I have given up predicting the result of, then it is that of the Edinburgh derby.
With so much at stake and emotions running high, you just don’t know what the outcome of this spectacle will be. Indeed, the only real certainty is that the quality of football on show has been the casualty in recent seasons.
There aren’t many players over the years that have possessed the ability, in this fixture, to put their foot on the ball and dictate the tempo, as the pace of such a game can catch even the most experienced pros napping.
Although we, as supporters, would all like to see free-flowing passing football and be entertained for 90 minutes, the result, ultimately, is the only aspect that matters. Yesterday’s encounter at Tynecastle failed to produce much in the way of quality where there wasn’t a great deal between the sides, but one piece of good play from the wing and a tremendous header was enough to seal the bragging rights for the Gorgie side.
With all the turmoil happening at Hearts, this was always going to be a real test of character for the Hibs players, fully aware that their rivals would be desperate to win in hope of lifting some of the gloom surrounding the club.
Hibs, quite simply, struggled to offer any real threat to a very inexperienced Hearts side. After reflecting on our own line-up, we lacked any creativity in the wide areas of the park in order to provide our strikers with the support they have been starved of recently – how can they be expected to score any goals, or even have an attempt on goal for that matter, if there is insufficient support in the final third? The fact we have failed to score in all four competitive fixtures this season so far tells a story in itself.
Two defeats in the opening fixtures of the season was certainly not in the plan, but the only real positive we can take at the moment is there is still a lot of football to be played – and points to be collected. As I have said previously, the new players at the club over the next few days will realise the repercussions of losing to your local rivals.
There was no lack of endeavour from the Hibs players, but you need to carry a lot more attributes to your game in order to become a successful side. It was very noticeable during the 90 minutes that the Hearts players were regularly at one another with a reminder for each and every individual in maroon to remain their focus and application for the entire duration – we should take notice.
The willingness to accept mediocrity at the club has been a sore point with many Hibs supporters for a number of seasons and this must change. We do possess some talented players but they must be able to discover a winning mentality . There are plenty of footballers playing today who fit into the ‘technically good’ category, but I consider the ability to win consistently shows more worth to the team.
The loss to Hearts is difficult to digest considering the circumstances, and the manager has a lot of thinking to do, but he must instil some confidence back into his players with matches coming thick and fast. A result, like yesterday, can sometimes galvanise the winners within the squad to demand more from themselves and their team-mates.
We welcome Dundee United to Easter Road on Saturday and this match has already become a must win encounter – a sad state of affairs considering how early we are in the new season. But we can ill afford to feel sorry for ourselves, the players have to show professionalism and pull the club out of this testing period.
“We must stick together and retain our belief that things will get better out on the park.