First Team

Kirk: We know Derby importance

24th December 2019

Andy Kirk knows how important Thursday’s Ladbrokes Premiership game against Hibs is because of his derby experience as a Hearts player.

The Northern Irishman featured in plenty of them during his playing days and scored the first goal when the Jambos put their city rivals to the sword in a thumping 5-1 Tynecastle win back in 2002.

Now assisting Daniel Stendel in the Gorgie dugout, Andy appreciates the added significance of the Boxing Day clash, and has told his players that they need to start racking up the points immediately.

“Derbies are never normal,” he said. “They’re huge games. I was fortunate enough to play in some of them. When you’ve experienced it then you appreciate how big it is for the club and for the fans.

“This game becomes even more important because of the situation we’re in. It’s important that we start getting results very, very quickly.

“There’s been a lot of change over recent times and the confidence is a bit low with certain players but it’s important that we do as much as we can to make them aware of the situation that we’re in and I think they are all aware of it.

“We need to work hard to get ourselves out it. The game coming up on Thursday is a massive game, albeit it’s a derby game which is massive in its own right, but the situation that we’re in now makes it even more important that we do as much as we can to make sure that we get the result we want.

“We’re not underestimating how big the challenge is. We’ll be doing everything we can, as we’ve done in the last two weeks since the new manager’s come in, to make things better, make things right, work as hard as we can and make sure that we’re prepared and ready for this game.

“It’s a derby game. Everybody talks about how form goes out the window. It’s going to be a full stadium, the crowd is going to be right behind us but we’ve got to give them a reason to be right behind us for the full 90 minutes.

“The players know its massive game, everybody at the club knows that and we’ll be doing everything we can to make sure it’s a positive outcome for us.”