Stevie Mallan: Hibs-Hearts clash is do or die – you have to win

Stevie Mallan has claimed the dire form of both Hibs and Hearts doesn’t change Sunday’s Edinburgh derby in any way, saying: “It’s do or die.”

Monday, 16th September 2019, 6:00 am
Hibs' Stevie Mallan challenges Hearts' Arnaud Djoum during the last Edinburgh derby. Pic: SNS

While Hearts have slumped to the foot of the Ladbrokes Premiership, their city rivals Hibs are only two points and three places better off after going down 2-0 at Kilmarnock.

Easter Road midfielder Mallan conceded that the build-up towards the first derby of the season will undoubtedly focus on the mounting problems Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom and Hearts manager Craig Levein are facing, admitting that rarely would both sides go into such a match struggling for a win.

However, Mallan insisted he and his team-mates will ignore the hype surrounding the game to focus on putting things right.

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Rebuffing the suggestion Heckingbottom’s players would have been ready to play it right away to get over Saturday’s loss at Rugby Park, Mallan said: “We need the week to prepare, to go over the last couple of games and especially today’s game.

“We’ll look at what we did wrong, look at what we know we need to do, to have a few days to look at videos and see what we can do better.

“Very rarely you’ll find an Edinburgh derby where both teams are struggling for a win. I’m sure it’ll be hyped up and both teams know they have to win.

“Not much changes in that respect. Whether you need a win or not, going into an Edinburgh derby, it’s do or die. You have to win.

“You can lose three or four matches, but win that and the fans are back with you on your side. I don’t think the run we are in just now changes what will happen in the derby.

“Even if we were unbeaten going into it, we still have to beat Hearts at home.

“Every Edinburgh derby can turn out to be a good match. From a fans point of view, they’ll hype it up and so will the media as both teams are not doing so great.

“The pressure will come from outside the camps. Hearts will do what we are going to do and look at ourselves and make sure we got out and get the three points. Hopefully, that’ll be the kick-on for our season.”