London Hearts Supporters Club

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Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth auth-> William Collum
[D Riordan 79]
5 of 007 Andrew Driver 22 ;Gary Glen 26L SPL H

Hearts 2-1 Hibs: Hearts put dent in Hibs Euro dream

Published Date: 21 March 2010
By Moira Gordon at Tynecastle
Hearts 2

Driver 24; Glen 27

Hibernian 1

Riordan 78
THERE had been nothing to separate the teams on previous derby days this term but this time there was one defining difference. Desire. And Hearts showed more of it. From the first few minutes when they utilised quality deliveries and their height advantage to good effective, up until the final minutes when they dug deep to prevent their rivals grabbing an equaliser, the home side showed the will to win that has not always been evident in recent times.

Jim Jefferies had said he would let his coach and former Hearts captain Gary Locke loose on his players in the hours preceding the game so they were in no doubt what the match meant and the coaching staff did a masterful job in getting round key protagonists and convincing them they were match winners.

This was a Hibs team which up until a month or so ago believed they had the beating of any team in the league and it showed in their play. Ibrox, Celtic Park, no arena seemed to daunt them but that belief has been eroded recently and it was severely lacking yesterday, the spirit of invincibility suffocated by edginess as all around the park Hearts dominated the individual battles.

The match had started with a high tempo despite both teams fielding sides unsettled by changes, enforced and otherwise. Hibs were without captain Chris Hogg, who had been troubled with back spasms, and was replaced by Steven Thicot while Jefferies made sweeping alterations to his midfield, bringing in Ruben Palazuelos, Ian Black and Andrew Driver, adding experience, bite and creativity to the starting line-up.

By the 25th minute, the first of that trio had been pushed back to left-back in a reshuffle prompted by David Kurcharski's hamstring injury, while Black was removed, clearly against his will, after sustaining concussion. More importantly, though, Driver had scored the opener and changed the entire look of the contest. It was the midfielder's first start in 19 weeks and he admitted it had taken all his manager's powers of persuasion to convince him he was fit.

"The amount of times I've gone to him this week saying I'm not sure if I'm ready, but the amount of times he's turned it round and I've felt a bit of an arse. In the end he was right and we're all going home happy. I think that's a manager trying to get the best out of his players.

"We showed unbelievable effort. The effort we showed at the start of the game showed at the end because we were dead on our feet. We had players who hadn't played in a while who turned out and risked injury but if you didn't go the extra yard for the new management in a derby or any other game you'd get told about it. We started poorly last week and I don't think there was any chance of that happening today. If we did there would be a rocket up a few arses."

Until that goal, despite Hearts greater physical presence and Driver's deliveries, it had been much of a muchness, but as soon as that shot ruffled the net, it ruffled more than a few nerves in the visiting ranks, the momentum swinging significantly, and when Gary Glen added a second three minutes later Hearts had them utterly rattled.

Black had initially defied medical advice and re-entered the fray in time to snuff out a Hibs break and from there the ball was played forward and Hearts carved out the opener, substitute Suso Santana's ball in from the right bouncing back off the woodwork to Driver who was clinical. Black was immediately replaced but by then he wasn't the only one who had been knocked senseless.

The second came in the 27th minute and this time it was Gary Glen who finished off after Eggert Jonsson had initially threatened with a header.

Hearts were swarming all over the visiting and could have battered another couple in, Graham Stack charging out his area and making a poor header and his defence making a meal of getting it clear and then John Rankin had to clear a Jonsson header off the line. David Obua then sent his header just over.

There were intermittent forays from Hibs but none of them materialised into anything tangible.

The interval offered some respite for the battered and beleaguered Leith side but as soon as the second half started, they were again under extreme duress.

Lewis Stevenson was the Hibs hero in the 52nd minute when Glen was through on goal and the full-back scarpered back to get in a great tackle in the box. Four minutes later Glen came close with a header from Laryea Kingston's free-kick and Stack had to make a great save, diving to his right.

Sol Bamba appealed for a penalty when he tumbled in the box claiming he had been fouled by Ryan Stevenson but no-one was buying it. Hibs did get a goal back in the 78th minute when Derek Riordan sent his shot in off the underside of the crossbar and it stimulated something of a late charge but with Hearts also going all out for another goal to ensure their first derby win in seven, it wasn't all one-sided.

Hibs said they felt they deserved something from the game but, in truth, they didn't even deserve to still be in the game at that stage and John Hughes' side should be relieved they escaped Gorgie with a scoreline offering some kind of respectability.


There were a number of contenders in maroon, all across the defence and in Andy Driver, but David Obua gets the nod for a match in which his height and tenacity caused Hibs problems all match.


In their managerial head to heads, John Hughes has now only tasted victory in three of his 18 meetings with his former gaffer, Jim Jefferies.


The number of opportunities Hearts had to really turn the screw. Chance after chance came their way as they completely out-competed their rivals.

Jefferies revels in changing room 'pandemonium' as derby victory excitement returns

Jefferies revels in changing room
• Paul Forsyth at Tynecastle

ACCORDING to Jim Jefferies, who could hardly have dreamed of a better return to the Edinburgh derby, there was "pandemonium" in the Hearts dressing-room afterwards. His first match against Hibs since beginning his second stint as Hearts manager was a reminder of what he has missed all these years: the atmosphere, the passion and, most of all, the deep sense of relief that comes with a win.

After a 2-1 triumph that was going on 5-1, the 59-year-old was in no mood to contain his boyish excitement, not just with the result, but with the breathtaking manner in which it was achieved. Save for the last ten minutes, when a late Hibs goal somehow allowed a degree of panic to set in, they handed their city rivals a good old-fashioned pasting. "It's a fantastic feeling, I can tell you," he gasped. "No disrespect to Hibs, but they got off lightly. OK, their goal changed the game, but it should have been dead and buried before that. We could have been five up."

His last taste of this bedlam was a 6-2 defeat at Easter Road a decade back. A reversal of that scoreline was too much to ask, but he admits that there were times when it crossed his mind. "These things happen. We lost by four goals ten years ago, but I have won 4-0 at Easter Road as well. If one or two of our chances had gone in, and there had been maybe a wee collapse, we could have had a right good celebration in there... but winning was the most important thing."

And all this against his old mucker, John Hughes, who has triumphed in only two of his 18 managerial head-to-heads with Jefferies. At the end of a week in which the two of them have been reminiscing about their shared history, it was a sore one for the Hibs manager. He could hardly have been more humiliated had he been asked to pull on a Hearts strip, which of course he was about 15 years ago. At least he was able to prevent that.

This was the first derby in which Jefferies and Hughes have confronted each other on the touchline. While few can compete with Hughes for enthusiasm, his old friend and gaffer made a decent fist of it here. At several points, the fourth official was tugging on his coat-tails in an effort to keep him off the pitch. When Hearts took the lead through Andy Driver, Jefferies and his assistant, Billy Brown, turned to the main stand and shared with the supporters an explosive, fist-pumping celebration. When they doubled their lead only two minutes later, the two of them were leaping about the track like young things.

Jefferies, though, had shown all of his experience with a team selection that took Hibs by surprise. Ian Black and Ruben Palazuelos, both ruled out a few days ago, played from the start. Palazuelos, who was moved to left-back after an early injury to Dawid Kucharksi, was an accomplished presence, Black reluctantly went off in the first half after suffering a head knock.

Jefferies' best decision was playing Andrew Driver, who hadn't started a match since last month's CIS Insurance Cup semi-final. He thought that the winger could trouble David Wotherspoon, and sure enough, the young Hibs player was pushed into midfield. "I had to get into wee Andrew's head a bit. I told him this was a game they would be worried about if he was playing. I had to convince him that this was a day when he could be a big player for us. He said he would leave it up to me, and as soon as he said that..."

Hughes refused to be downhearted afterwards, but it was a struggle. "I always take positives," he said. "We are in there fighting for a European spot, still in the Scottish Cup. I know a lot of clubs in Scotland who would give their right arm to be in our position."

But, with Ross County lying in wait for Tuesday's Scottish Cup quarter-final replay, these are difficult days for Hibs. When it was put to Hughes that the season was in danger of petering out, that his team had won only once in their last eight games, he responded with a question of his own: "When was the last time we got beat?" The temptation was to say, "about half an hour ago", but nobody did.

Taken from the Scotsman

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