First Team

Robbie: Supporters make the derby great

5th August 2022

Robbie Neilson believes the backing of a packed away end at Easter Road can help Hearts onto victory in Sunday’s Edinburgh derby.

Hearts and Hibs lock horns in Leith at lunchtime for the first derby of the new season, with capital bragging rights already up for grabs at this early stage of the cinch Premiership campaign.
 
The atmosphere on derby day always has something special about it, especially with a sold out away allocation, and the manager admits he can’t wait to get stuck into the challenge of overcoming Hibs on their own turf.
 
“It’s the fixture you look for as soon as they come out, to be honest,” he told the media in his derby preview. “It’s good that it’s come slightly early and we’re looking forward to it. Pre-season is the time we used to get ready for this and we just want it to come now.
 
“One of the beauties of the Edinburgh derby is that we get a full allocation; the Hearts end will be rocking, and we’ll take a sell-out to Easter Road. It’s the same situation when Hibs come to Tynecastle.
 
“It’s always a great atmosphere with a lot of intensity. We always really look forward to it. I say to the boys all the time; you must win your first header. Your first contact. The games will take care of itself after that.
 
“It’s always 200mph, with that intensity we talked about. We have to make sure we stand up to that. The derby IS the fans. Yeah, it’s eleven against eleven on the pitch, but it’s the fans coming together that make a derby what it is!
 
“Walking out and seeing we have a packed end full of Hearts fans, who’ll have the place rocking, there’s no better feeling.”