Stack eager to improve derby record

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Graham STACK’S greatest derby day came as his Millwall side overcame London rivals West Ham, but the Hibs goalkeeper’s record in the all-Edinburgh head-to-head is decidedly poorer.

Since arriving at Easter Road two years ago, Stack has seen his team lose all seven cross-city clashes and has played in only two, drawing and losing at Tynecastle.

The Irish international, whose Murrayfield home is just a long goal-kick away from the Gorgie ground, hopes to improve on that record tomorrow when Hibs travel to Hearts.

“I’ve played in two – yet to win one – drew 0-0 at Tynecastle and lost 2-1. Hopefully we can change that on Sunday,” he said.

“It’s obviously a tight stadium – an old, historic place where the fans are on top of you, tight changing rooms. It can be intimidating, probably more so because of the history and because the fans are close to the pitch.

“At the same time, I’ve also watched the derbies at Easter Road and they’ve been intimidating for the Hearts players. You’re always going to get that atmosphere, but I love playing in stadiums like that.”

The 29-year-old Londoner relishes the compact surroundings of Hearts’ home and thrives on the on-field atmosphere generated by the proximity of the surrounding supporters.

He said: “My favourite stadium back home is Queen’s Park Rangers’ Loftus Road. It’s so tight there.

“Having played there before, it’s probably one of my most memorable games just because of the atmosphere it creates. I’d go as far to say that that’s as close as you would get to Tynecastle.

“Big players obviously want to play big games on big occasions, and it doesn’t get much bigger than this.”