There was a buzz of anticipation around Easter Road yesterday as everyone awaited the League Cup draw in Glasgow, which happened to coincide with the Hibs’ weekly press conference. All eyes were on twitter, and the news of an Edinburgh derby came through just before Ryan McGivern took his seat in the press room. By that time though, he had been given the nod and was keen to talk about the fixture.
The Northern Ireland international said: It’s a good draw for the fans and the biggest derby in Scotland at the minute, so it’s a good one for us and the fans to look forward to, and hopefully, we can get a wee bit of revenge for the game earlier on in the season.
“We knew whatever team we got was going to be a tough one and they don’t come tougher than a local derby. I think we were unlucky to come away without any points from Tynecastle earlier in the season, but we had a lot of new faces and it was only the second game of the season and, if you look over the last six or seven games, the boys are starting to gel and we’re unbeaten in six
“We’ve got a couple of tough games before the cup-tie so we’ll concentrate on them first, but it’s an early chance to make amends for what happened at Tynecastle. We knew there was a chance we could get them when they went through on Wednesday night.
“It’s a good reward for ourselves as a club, for the fans and, hopefully, we’ll have another full house for a midweek game against Hearts and, hopefully, we’re able to do the job this time.
“I just hope we can keep that run going and, by the time Hearts come around, we’ll be ready and looking to book a place in the semi-finals.”
Hibs boss Pat Fenlon insisted that there were big games to come before the derby, but acknowledged that the fans in particular will be looking forward to a special evening under the Easter Road floodlights.
He said: “Getting through to a quarter-final is always two-fold. One, it adds to your winning run, and two, it gives you a real financial boost and, in relation to that, I don’t think we could have asked for a better one. It all helps, and if we can get to a semi-final then that will help even more. But we will let the supporters get on with it before then – we will concentrate on the games coming up.”
“Both sets of fans will be delighted with it and that excitement is what derby matches are all about,”
“Someone asked me the other day: ‘How do you jazz up this tournament and get the crowds in?’ An Edinburgh derby in the quarter-final is one way to do it. There are some cracking ties, and people will think: ‘Well, if they go out then we have a real chance’. When the games do come around, people will be thinking there is a real chance to get to a final.
“It gives us all something to look forward to. But we have to keep our good run going until then. We played at Tynecastle in midweek last year in the New Year game and it was a special, special atmosphere. The punters have a bit of time to have a pint before. The games at Easter Road in the night-time are completely different to a Saturday afternoon. Even the other night against Stranraer that was evident.”
“There are some good teams left and I think everyone wanted a home tie, and this is a fantastic one,”
Fenlon and the players were clearly stung by the criticism that followed the early defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle in a game that the Hibs fans had been confident of winning, but since then Hibs have gone six games unbeaten. He added: “People have made a lot about going to Tynecastle and getting beat – but so did Aberdeen and I never heard a word about that.”
The game will be played on either 29th or 30th October and ticket details will be announced in due course.