There is nothing quite like an Edinburgh derby to welcome in the new year and bring the best out of both the players and supporters of Hibs and Hearts.
Saturday’s encounter was a decent spectacle by all means, although I was disappointed to see Hibs leave Tynecastle with just the one point for our endeavours.
Alan Stubbs’ team dominated the early stages of the game and may well have been out of sight by half-time had we converted the chances that came our way. Robbie Neilson’s men, on the other hand, were rather subdued, which afforded the Hibs players the lion’s share of possession.
The game was thrown up in the air, however, with an outstanding strike from young Jamie Walker to get the home side back on level terms before the interval, with neither side able to add to their goals tally after the break.
Nevertheless, I was hugely impressed by the Hibs players’ composure in what is, arguably, the country’s most intimidating venue to play football and their continued desire to pass their way through the opposition. Recent ventures to the other side of the city have been rather demoralising from a Hibs perspective so it was certainly refreshing to witness a vastly-improved display.
There is a style beginning to merge under Stubbs that is more like the Hibs of old and I think the supporters now appreciate what they’re being served up. The personnel recruited over the summer has moved the club on significantly with the probability of some new faces still to come over the course of this month.
As much as it pains me to say, though, it would take one almighty collapse from the Gorgie outfit not to be crowned league champions come May. The next step for the manager, therefore, is to keep the momentum flowing and wrap up a play-off spot as soon as possible.
Two consecutive home games now beckon with Falkirk and Cowdenbeath due to visit Easter Road within the next two weeks. The Bairns have enjoyed the upper hand against us this season but I am hoping we have got our act together this time round to set the record straight.