Monty dreaming of anthemic derby performance by victorious Hibs fans

'While the chief ...' Hibs punters belt out their famous footballing anthem at Easter Road.'While the chief ...' Hibs punters belt out their famous footballing anthem at Easter Road.
'While the chief ...' Hibs punters belt out their famous footballing anthem at Easter Road. | SNS Group
Easter Road boss plotting win to strike a chord with supporters

From Day One at East Mains, Nick Montgomery has been dreaming of an Easter Road serenade of spine-tingling emotional heft. Hibs fans will hope that his wait doesn’t extend much beyond full-time in tonight’s Edinburgh Derby.

Montgomery admitted, soon after his arrival as manager back in September, that he couldn’t wait to be part of a victory – and an occasion – deemed worthy of hearing THAT song. THE song. Could tonight be the night when he finally gets to enjoy the full Sunshine on Leith experience, as thousands of uproarious Hibees belt out a footballing anthem forever associated with the club’s finest hour?

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Monty, revealing that he’d watched scenes from the 2016 Scottish Cup Final on loop with his wife and three daughters, said: “Obviously I would love that to happen. And I’ve visualised being part of something like that, having watched it happen.

“Being fortunate enough to have David Gray on my staff, I know how special it is. And I’ve watched that 2016 Cup Final rendition many times – I’ve watched it with my wife, with my kids, with Sergio, Miguel and the staff here. You can see how special it is just from watching the video.

“I can’t focus on that; all we’ve got to focus on is trying to win the game. But it would be amazing to see the fans singing Sunshine on Leith after a win. It would be really special.”

Of the things he’s achieved since replacing Lee Johnson, Montgomery counts changing the mood music among Hibs supporters as one of the most important signs of progress, revealing: “I think it’s really important to have a connection between players and fans. No footballer ever goes out not trying to win. But the only guarantee is we appreciate the fans.

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“Especially at this time of the year, we’ve really appreciated the time, the travel and the expense involved in coming to support us. If you include the Ross County game that got postponed, that would have been four away games in a row. In December. That’s a real difficult ask for the fans.

“I definitely spoke to the boys when we came in about reconnecting with the fans and connecting with the community. The work that we’re doing in the community is part of that.

“That’s why we agreed to go down to the stadium on Christmas Day, myself and the family as well as some of the staff and players, to serve 500 people who need a bit of help. The Foundation is a huge part of the club.

“And we have such a passionate support, they all desperately want to win. No matter how we perform, I think it’s really important that we go and applaud the fans, who have been fantastic.

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“Even just walking around the shops with my family, I’ve had a lot of fans come up to me and say they feel that the connection is really coming back. They’ve been really positive about how our players interact with the fans.

“I’ve obviously got a lot of great memories of playing in games at this time of year. What I mainly remember is how disciplined you had to be, as a player, because we were there to entertain the fans.

“Most people work really, really hard throughout the year. This is a traditional time for them to get together with their families and enjoy the football, knowing that they don’t have to get up for work the next day. It’s a special time and we love being part of it.”

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