Craig Levein: 'Hearts deserved to beat Hibs thanks to goal from a player with 5-1 on his back'

Hearts manager Craig Levein basked in the joy of a crucial Edinburgh derby victory after seeing his team come from behind at Easter Road.

Sunday, 22nd September 2019, 6:02 pm
Aaron Hickey celebrates after scoring Hearts' winner at Easter Road

Stevie Mallan's 25-yard effort put Hibs 1-0 ahead early in the second half before Uche Ikpeazue restored parity on 70 minutes.

Then came a stunning winner from 17-year-old Aaron Hickey, who was wearing the No.51 shirt for Hearts. Levein referenced that in his post-match press conference and praised his team for their character in overhauling the deficit to climb from bottom to eighth in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

“There are ways to win games by accumulating another thousands grey hairs. That was today," said Levein. "To go behind and come back to win a derby away from home is a pretty special thing. I'm thrilled to bits for the players and the supporters.

“This game is always pressurised from a number of different areas. Recently we've been struggling at home, where we are expected to win and make the running. This is a different pressure and the boys handled it. First and foremost, they didn't make any mistakes. That has been hampering our progress in previous matches in the league.

Sign up to our Hearts newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We were pretty good defensively and restricted Hibs to very few changes. When Stevie [Mallan] scored from 25 yards into the top corner, I thought: 'Maybe it's not going to be our day.' All credit to the boys, they plugged away and kept going.

“Uche got us back in the game and then Aaron, who had another smashing game, managed to score the winner in an Edinburgh derby with 5-1 on his back. I thought we were worthy of it but I'm slightly biased. I felt we played better than Hibs.

“Our confidence will grow from this. We have a hugely difficult game on Wednesday night against Aberdeen and this result will help us going into that match."