Gary Mackay: Lawrence Shankland and Liam Boyce would be the perfect Hearts attack against Hibs

Winning last Saturday allows Hearts to go into the derby game and hopefully play with a bit of freedom.

By Gary Mackay
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 7:00 am

However, the same can be said for Hibs because they picked up a win at St Johnstone and that will give them a bit of momentum as well. If you score late on a Saturday to win the game, you tend to get a big lift from that.

When I look at the changes at Hibs, I just hope Hearts can go to Easter Road and have a go at them rather than sitting in or trying to play on the counter-attack.

For me, it’s about getting in Hibs’ faces and having a real go. I would love to see Liam Boyce and Lawrence Shankland playing up front together on Sunday. That would really give me a feeling that we were setting our stall out to win the match.

I don’t think Hibs could deal with those two strikers playing together. I’m not sure my hope will come to fruition, maybe it’s not possible because of the personnel we have behind the front line, but that’s what I would really like to see.

Although it was a poor first half from Hearts against Ross County, you saw the creativity and scoring threat that Alan Forrest and Barrie McKay have. If you used a holding midfielder behind them, maybe in a 5-3-2 formation, you would have lots of chances to create things for the strikers.

Hibs have made a lot of changes in defensive areas, Lewis Stevenson isn’t playing and neither is Paul Hanlon. These guys know all about derbies. I think the lad Rocky Bushiri is definitely somebody you could play on as a striker given the experience Shankland and Boyce have.

They could help Hearts control the game in the attacking area playing against a centre-back like Bushiri, who is pretty inexperienced by comparison.

Liam Boyce and Lawrence Shankland are Hearts' main goal threats.

I would also say that Ron Gordon, the Hibs owner, probably got it wrong when he complained about their first two home games being against Hearts and Rangers. From a Hibs perspective, particularly after winning on Saturday, they are maybe getting Hearts at the right time.

I hope I’m wrong, but the season it only in its infancy and everybody is still finding their feet competitively. I just hope our mindset is to go there and try to win the match. If we do that, I would like to think we will have too much for them.

There is a settled group in place at Tynecastle, although Stephen Kingsley missing would be a blow. It would cheer me up enormously if he was available but we will need to wait and see.

I think all the Hearts supporters who have tickets for the away end on Sunday will be looking forward to it. Rather than aiming to come away with a point, it’s about winning and putting Hibs under pressure. That’s what the Hearts supporters will demand.

There is an expectation now because we finished third, recruited new players and sold 15,500 season tickets. These things are wonderful for the long-term future but it does increase the pressure to perform.

It took us 45 minutes to get ourselves going against Ross County. We won’t get the same luxury at Easter Road.

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