Hearts boss Robbie Neilson reacts to drawing Hibs in Scottish Cup for third time in four seasons
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson is relishing another "massive" game against Hibs after the two Edinburgh rivals were once again drawn against each other in the Scottish Cup.
Once upon a time it was quite uncommon for both halves of the capital divide to meet each other in Scotland's premier cup competition. But after Hearts followed Hibs as the first two names out of the hat for this season's fourth round draw, it'll now be the third time the clubs have met in the last four seasons (and tenth time – including replays – since 2012).
Hearts have emerged victorious in the last two meetings, winning both in the semi-finals at Hampden Park. The 2-1 victory in April achieved the goal of group-stage football in Europe with third place already wrapped up and there is the same added incentive to do well in this year's competition.
“It always is a big thing and the way it works out again is the cup winners go into the group stages. So it’s huge to get that if you can. It’s a pathway to get in," said Neilson.
“Obviously you want to try and finish third to try and guarantee European football. But if you can get in via that then it’s massive.
“It’s a big game, as it always is. Derbies are massive. We have a big derby at Tynecastle in a couple of weeks and then at Easter Road and it is going to be huge.
"First and foremost we need to take care of these games when we go back. And then hopefully take care of that first derby at Tynecastle and that will set us up for a win there.
An away match at your biggest rivals isn't the easiest of draws to get, particularly as Neilson must do what he hasn't done yet and lead a Hearts team to victory at Easter Road, but the Tynecastle boss isn't interested in bemoaning bad luck.
“It’s like any cup game, you want to win it," he said. "If you want to go as far as you can and get to finals you need to win games and play bigger teams as you go along.
“Whether it be Tynecastle, Easter Road or Hampden it doesn’t matter you need to go and win the game."