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John Robertson <-auth None auth-> Douglas McDonald
[D Riordan 22]
4 of 025 Paul Hartley 55 L SPL A

Mowbray: Losing ground can be powerful motivator for Hearts

TONY MOWBRAY today warned his Hibs stars that the prospect of falling 12 points behind their arch-rivals will act as "a powerful motivational factor" for Hearts as they travel to Easter Road on Sunday.

The Hibs boss believes the Gorgie side are now in the same position as his players were just three weeks ago when they faced Aberdeen knowing defeat would open up a ten-point chasm between them and the Dons then lying in third place.

Mowbray’s stars came up trumps that day and in the intervening period they have not only narrowed the gap on the Pittodrie outfit but overtaken them.

Now Hibs fans are salivating at the thought of pulling even further away from Hearts in the chase for Europe with those in maroon desperate to ensure that scenario doesn’t unfold.

Asked if that expectation among Hibs supporters brought any added pressure to his young players, Mowbray said: "Hopefully not but it is up to me to do my best to make sure it doesn’t.

"It might bring some pressure on Hearts but I can’t say because I am not in their dressingroom, I’m not sure how they are looking at it.

"It’s a similar scenario to the one we have with Aberdeen as we went into that game knowing we’d be ten points behind them if we were to lose. There’s a reverse psychology comes into play, the fear of losing and falling a long way behind.

"Perhaps that’s what got us over the line that day and we have to be wary that the same motivation does not happen for Hearts because the fear of going 12 points behind can be a powerful motivational factor."

Mowbray has no fear about the character and determination of his players,

but added: "A local derby is different and usually they are not the best of games as there is a lot more tension involved and the fear factor."

Taken from

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