Gary Mackay: Replay is the last thing Hearts need

Things boil over between Hearts and Hibs players. Picture: SNS
Things boil over between Hearts and Hibs players. Picture: SNS
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Yesterday’s derby had echoes of the day Graham Weir scored two late goals for Hearts to haul us back from 4-2 to 4-4 against Hibs in 2003.

When something like that happens to you in any game – particularly a derby – a draw is always going to feel like a defeat.

It was a surreal match. I have to admit I wasn’t convinced we had ever done enough to be 2-0 in front.

We weren’t anywhere near our best but still managed to find ourselves in control of the tie through two fabulous individual goals.

In the end, a draw was probably a fair result, but because of the fact we had one foot in the quarter-finals, I’m gutted that we now face a really tricky replay at Easter Road.

I don’t think anyone could have imagined that scenario with 15 minutes left.

I can’t make up my mind if the second half went the way it did because Hibs raised their game or we took our foot off the gas. Either way, it was a real sore one to take.

I’ve heard it suggested that the club will benefit from another money-spinning replay, but I don’t buy that point of view. With the run of fixtures we’ve got coming up, it’s the last thing the players or the supporters needed.

The upcoming games are going to be a test of the squad. Hopefully the injuries to Alim Ozturk and Prince Buaben are not serious.

We also have the issue of Juanma not appearing to be flavour of the month at the moment, so it will be interesting to see how the squad is utilised in the coming weeks.

I think Hearts are still favourites to knock Hibs out due to our status as a Premiership team. But there’s no doubt Hibs will go into the replay full of confidence in light of their record against top-flight teams this season and the manner in which they turned things round yesterday.

Before that, we have a really challenging trip to Ross County on Wednesday, not least because they are a very good team who have just reached a cup final.

The atmosphere up there will be nothing like it was yesterday so it’ll be a test of the players’ professionalism to see if they can deal with the relatively low-key feel of a game like that.