McPake bats aside Billy’s dig at Hibees

James McPake
James McPake
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Hibs captain James McPake has dismissed claims from Hearts assistant Billy Brown that all the pressure is on the Leith team ahead of tonight’s League Cup derby.

Brown, a former Hibs No.2, is adamant the Easter Road side will have to cope with an added burden because they are the more experienced side and have spent money trying to improve their fortunes.

But McPake insisted there was only excitement emanating from the Hibs squad rather than any tension about the prospect of losing to their administration-hit city rivals for a second time this season.

“There is the same pressure on both teams,” the 29-year-old said. “I honestly don’t see any difference. Whether you have a team full of young kids or whether you have a team full of 35-year-olds, it doesn’t make it any easier.

“In my opinion we’ve got the better squad, everybody would probably agree with that, but it doesn’t guarantee you win the game. You saw that at Tynecastle at the start of the season.

“I can remember Billy saying that in the Press when he was at Hibs, that all the pressure was on Hearts. I can guarantee that’s not going to affect us.

“Yes, there is pressure that comes from playing in every single game but you use these pressures to your advantage and enjoy playing in it. With the buzz going about our dressing room, if we were under that much pressure, I’m sure people wouldn’t be looking forward to it as much as they are.”

Brown, who was assistant to both Colin Calderwood and Fenlon at Easter Road, said: “Reading the papers and listening to everyone, they are not giving us a chance. As far as I can see, all the pressure is on Hibs. They have signed loads of players and there are not many clubs who pay £200,000 for a player and Hibs have (James Collins). So there is a financial outlay and big expectations for their supporters.

“They are at home, there are not many young players in the Hibs team and they are playing a young team. I would think, if there’s extra pressure in a game like this, it’s certainly not at this end of the city.”