At half-time yesterday, I really feared the worst for Hibs.
It’s hard not to feel that way considering how derbies have gone for us down the years.
Plenty Hibs teams have folded in that situation at Tynecastle, but this side is different and they proved once again they’re made of the right stuff by fighting back from the dead. I think every Hibs supporter would admit that the draw felt like a win in the end.
We started really well and kept the ball off Hearts. If we’d managed to get in front at that stage, it might have been a different game. But after Hearts scored, we went into a bit of a lull and looked to be rocking a bit.
We came right back into it after the break though. The players were really brave on the ball and didn’t panic even though they were 2-0 behind. They starved Hearts of the ball and kept playing football, resisting the temptation to go route one and hope for the best. It was really good to watch and they got their rewards in the end. A draw was the least the players deserved.
It’s been a long time since Hibs have fought back like that in a derby. It’s usually the other way about, with Hearts getting a late goal to deny us.
We should now go into the replay in a really positive mindset after coming back like that because at half-time we looked like we were out the cup. We’ve got to fancy ourselves in the replay but Hearts won’t make it easy for us. They will be angry at the way they threw it away and will want to make amends at Easter Road.
A replay is probably the last thing we needed because we’ve got such a heavy schedule at the moment, but, in the circumstances, you won’t catch any Hibs fans complaining. We showed again yesterday that we’ve got a strong squad. The likes of Darren McGregor and Marvin Bartley came in and did a really good job in the absence of Liam Fontaine and Fraser Fyvie, and the subs, Kevin Thomson and Niklas Gunnarsson, also played their part after Dylan McGeouch and David Gray got injured. This is a good time to be a Hibs fan.