First Team

GMS: raring to go

8th April 2022

The return to fitness of Gary Mackay-Steven could scarcely have come at a better time; as Hearts gear up for a derby double-header with Hibs.

After breaking his hand at Tannadice last month in a 2-2 draw with Dundee United, GMS had to go to hospital for an operation to treat the break.
 
Now back to full fitness, Gary says he’s ‘raring to go’ as the men in maroon welcome Hibs to Gorgie tomorrow afternoon on Premiership business.
 
“Yeah, it’s alright! It’s fixed; so I’ve been able to train fully this week,” he told the media in his pre match press conference.
 
“I broke my hand, and the way it happened – it needed an operation to put plates into it. The international break probably came at a good time, I only missed a few games. I’m raring to go and ready to kick on now.”
 
No stranger to a good derby match, Gary’s CV has seen him be in the thick of the battle in derbies in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee - and even New York.
 
It’s given him plenty of knowledge about what’s required in these big occasions, and says these sorts of matches have to be savoured and enjoyed.  
 
“Every derby is unique. This one is massive; it’s what everyone in the city is talking about. These are games the players look forward to. Training is maybe a wee bit higher tempo because everyone wants to play,” he explained.
 
“I’ve played a lot of different stadiums and their own derbies. It helps because you know what’s expected. You have to embrace it and enjoy it, use it as motivation. These are the games you look back on.
 
“Regardless of league position. We’ll be as desperate to win as I’m sure they’ll be, and hopefully we can get the three points on Saturday. Playing them twice back-to-back – a good result here would give huge confidence going into the next one at Hampden.
 
“We have to take this game into isolation first, and try and put in a good performance and win.
 
“It’ll be amazing. I got to experience one at Tynecastle earlier in the season and it was great. Tynecastle is always a good atmosphere but derby day just adds something special. I’m expecting the same on Saturday; these are the ones you relish and look forward to playing in the most.
 
“They’re frantic, fast paced – just what you want as a footballer.”