Hibs: Paul McGinn aims to be derby lucky charm as he speaks on advice from John McGinn, Martin Boyle and Dundee derby

Paul McGinn (centre) trains ahead of the Edinburgh derbyPaul McGinn (centre) trains ahead of the Edinburgh derby
Paul McGinn (centre) trains ahead of the Edinburgh derby | other
Defender hoping to emulate sibling by winning Capital bragging rights

Paul McGinn watched his younger brother John star in plenty of Edinburgh derbies wishing that one day he might play in one.

Tonight that dream comes true as struggling Hearts head for Easter Road battling to retain their Premiership status against an in-form Hibs side eyeing a place in the Europa League.

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Not surprisingly, hearing Sunshine on Leith being belted out following a Hibs win was always a special moment and one he hopes to enjoy for himself following the final blast of referee Kevin Clancy’s whistle.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said the 29-year-old defender. “I’ve seen a lot of them and I’ve always wanted to be a part of it so it’s good to finally get one.

“I wouldn’t say there was any in-particular stand out match, but obviously when John was here they had a lot of home results. I remember Sunshine on Leith at the end being pretty special.

“They’re all fierce, but obviously I preferred the ones when Hibs got the better (of the result). I would really hope for a positive result like John experienced.”

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Other than a call or a text to wish him good luck before kick-off, McGinn doesn’t expect his brother, who found himself on the losing side just twice in nine clashes with Hearts, to be offering an advice beforehand.

He said: “He knows the best thing for me is to go and play my game. There’s no advice you can give, it’s going to be 100 miles an hour anyway, you just need to deal with it when you’re there. The first 20-odd minutes it’s not so much strategy – it’s blood and guts, isn’t it?

'No comparison' between tonight's clash and the Dundee relegation derby

“Then when the tempo dies down a bit of tactics come into it a little bit more, it’s just one of those things. Hopefully we’re better on the night.”

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McGinn was part of the Dundee side which relegated close neighbours United four years ago, a 2-1 win at Dens Park but, he insisted, there’s no comparison to be had between that night and tonight.

He said: “At Dundee it started off with United having a right good team. We had just come up so the first few games weren’t pretty. But by the end of it we managed to put them down... as a Dundee team, that was quite a surreal experience.

“That was the official game when United went down, but there’s still plenty of time for Hearts to get themselves out of it, so there are no comparisons there. Also in the Dundee derby you walked to the stadium and I don’t think Hearts would be allowed to walk into Easter Road in quite the same way.”

McGinn admitted Daniel Stendel’s players will have had their spirits lifted by their Scottish Cup victory over Rangers, one which has set up a semi-final derby between the two clubs next month, but a game which will be put on the back-burner as all focus is turned on to tonight.

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And if Hearts arrived buoyed by the weekend result, Hibs did their own confidence no harm at all as they scored five against Inverness Caley the previous evening, further extending the impressive form they have shown since the winter break.

Hibs had five different scorers on the night, including first goals for Stephane Omeonga and Jamie Gullan - an indication, insisted McGinn, of the threat Jack Ross’s side carries from all areas of the pitch.

'You can see why Boyle is hot property'

Martin Boyle may not have found the net, but he did so twice as Hibs won the last derby at Tynecastle on Boxing Day and McGinn predicted his former Dundee team-mate will again pose problems, claiming he’s not surprised in the least that he’s now a full Australian internationalist.

He said: “Martin was a really good player then but he hadn’t long been moved from a striker to right wing so he was a bit raw. I think now you can see the years of experience has kicked in, he’s getting better and better and you can see why he’s hot property.”

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As Boyle arrived in Edinburgh, initially on loan, Alex Harris moved in the opposite direction with, said McGinn, no-one quite sure who’d get the best of the deal. He said: “Luckily for Hibs Boyley has really kicked on. It’s one of those, with hindsight, Dundee would not have let it happen so easily.

“I can’t say I’m that surprised. He’s 100 miles an hour off the pitch, never mind on it. So he was never going to lie down and not have a good career. He’s got that ability that James Forrest has where, even if he has a bad touch that lures you in, he’s so quick that he’s away by you with his next one.”

A consequence of Boyle’s lightning-fast pace is that, as on Friday night, he finds himself on the end of some rough treatment but, said McGinn: “That’s just the way he is, he doesn’t roll about, you never see him really go down.

“He’ll keep getting up and going at you again. He scored in the last game at Tynecastle so he can finish as well. Hopefully he bring his finishing boots with him tonight.”