Mickey Weir: Early win is ideal tonic for derby

Farid El Alagui is surrounded. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Farid El Alagui is surrounded. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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A victory over Livingston in our Championship opener was just what we needed ahead of the first derby at Tynecastle on Sunday.

I totally concur with the manager’s post-match assessment that Saturday’s encounter was a match last season we would have struggled to see out after conceding a goal.

But to the players’ credit and despite some late pressure from our opponents, we stood firm to get our league campaign off to a winning start with three points.

There is no reason why the players cannot go into this weekend’s clash with Hearts in confident spirits after two compact performances against Livingston, and Rangers last Tuesday.

I have been encouraged by our will to attack and get at teams from the first whistle. However, at any level of football, there are always going to be rocky patches throughout the season and it is up to the squad to keep those to a minimum.

It has been some time since our opponents have feared a trip to Easter Road so to start the league campaign at home with a win, will provide a huge boost. If the Hibs supporters can play their part and make the stadium an intimidating venue then I believe we will win more than we will lose.

The manager has played in numerous Old Firm and Merseyside derbies so he can appreciate what a win over your local rivals means to the supporters. I am sure there will be a lot of geeing up in training this week to get the new boys of the side in line with just how significant a Hibs victory on Sunday would be to the green-and-white half of the city.

I think we had all expected this particular fixture would have taken a break for a year at the very least, but once again that special atmosphere will be upon us when the two teams emerge from the tunnel this weekend.

Hearts are sure to fancy their chances after a buoyant display at Ibrox yesterday which resulted in a victory of their own, but Alan Stubbs will stress to his players it’s about what they do that counts. As it goes, there are not many things better than being a member of a winning side at Tynecastle.