Michael Weir: Hibs must win derby to close gap

Hibs found their goalscoring touch against Livingston. Pic: Bill Murray/SNS
Hibs found their goalscoring touch against Livingston. Pic: Bill Murray/SNS
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It was simply imperative we collected all three points against Livingston on Saturday to keep us in touch with the sides above us.

It’s a result that Alan Stubbs has stressed his players have threatened to do all season, in which everything appeared to click into place.

Why we have failed to play with that same drive and intensity in some of our previous matches this season in the Championship is puzzling to say the least.

However, it was a good three points all the same and extends our unbeaten run to five ahead of our biggest game of the season on Sunday at home to Hearts.

The club has always set itself high standards and this season is no different despite suffering relegation to the second tier. I think one or two people within Easter Road have now realised that our indifferent start to life in the Championship won’t be accepted by the supporters and questions will be asked.

Going into the Edinburgh derby this weekend, Hearts will be firm favourites given their unbeaten record so far this term. Our neighbours’ free-scoring attributes have not gone unnoticed with many already tipping them to be crowned league champions come May.

If we are to have any say ourselves in where the Championship trophy will be heading then we must pick up maximum points and cut the gap at the top to 11.

Trying to predict these games has caught many out before and I expect Sunday’s clash to be no different. We have shown at certain points already this season that we can be a match for anyone on our day and there is no bigger incentive needed for the players than to go out and inflict the first defeat of the season on our arch rivals.

There wasn’t a lot between the sides when they met back in August, Liam Craig’s penalty miss ultimately proving costly. However, both clubs have added considerable strength in depth since that game so I expect more quality on show this time round. Easter Road has certainly not been our most favoured venue of late for picking up victories, but what better way to make up for some lost time by winning the second derby of the season.