Hibs’ popular defender Darren McGregor believes that city rivals  Hearts are top of the league on merit but he is looking forward to next Wednesday’s Edinburgh derby after making his long awaited comeback in last week’s defeat to champions Celtic at Parkhead.

McGregor has missed the majority of the season after picking up an injury against Asteras Tripolis but he back and raring to go and insists that Hibs can pick up all three points at Tynecastle.

Speaking to Hibernian Media, McGregor said: “Hearts have recruited well and have a big squad to pick from. They are top of the league on merit, so we just need to swallow that pill at the minute, go there and hopefully put in a good performance and get a victory.

“We’re under no illusions that Tynecastle is a difficult place to go to, but I’m just looking forward to it. If you’re not looking forward to these games then you’re in the wrong game.

“It was great to be back in. After the injury against Asteras I was looking at the end goal of when I was going to come back and you don’t get many better games than Celtic at Parkhead. Albeit, the result wasn’t what we wanted but I think it was a great game to be involved in and I never shy away from a challenge.It was good to get the boots back on and into the fold.

“You could argue that not having a match this weekend disrupts us, but then there are guys who are coming back as well so the extra few days will help them too.

“Having guys coming back in will obviously boost our chances going into the game and taking all three points.

“The gaffer demands the best as well, so our fitness levels won’t drop. If you have ever watched training then you know that if the standard drops that he’s quick enough to come in and tell us that we’ll be running if it doesn’t increase again.

“The levels in training should be mandatory and I think it shows on the pitch with our consistency that the tempo in training is good and that the players we have in the club have gone from strength to strength as well.”