First Team

Naisy: It's About Who Wants It More

28th December 2018

Steven Naismith believes that tomorrow's derby will simply come down to which team wants it more.

The 32-year-old missed the last Edinburgh Derby through injury but made a scoring return to the first team fold at the weekend against Hamilton. The last time Steven faced Hibs, in May of this year, he scored the winner to give Hearts a 2-1 win at Tynecastle.

"For us as a team, we're in a better place than we have been," he said. "Just the experience side of it is the thing that's the biggest difference for us.

"I've played in many derbies where the team that is depleted with injuries and not on-form has gone out and won the game because it isn't solely down to what players and the ability you've got on the park, it's about who wants it more and that'll be the case tomorrow to be honest."

The last derby, played on Hallowe'en night in Gorgie, was a fiery affair but ultimately ended goalless after Flo Kamberi's red card saw Hibs reduced to ten men for the final stages.

"With any derby it's about being clever with being up for the fight and ascerting yourself as much as possible at the start, but also getting back to the things that make you a good team," Steven added. "I've played in many derbies where it's all about the hustle and bustle of winning the battle, but the game fizzles out because there's not that much quality in it.

"What we've shown throughout this season is that we can win a number of ways, but we've got to remember in the back of our minds that Hibs, at home, are a team that start fast and want to be on the front foot from the first whistle and we'll need to guard against that, but also play the way we want to play."

Reflecting on the last derby, Steven said: "It was frustrating because I felt we should have gone and won the game. At the start of these games normally the quality isn't as great as what these teams can produce. Towards the end there was a sending off and if we were a bit more patient and intelligent with our play we'd probably create more problems for them later on in the game."

You can watch all of Steven's press conference by clicking here.