Hearts keen to promote Edinburgh derby

PA Sport
John McGlynn aiming to maintain Hearts' grip on derby bragging rights
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John McGlynn aiming to maintain Hearts' grip on derby bragging rights

Hearts manager John McGlynn has urged his players to seize the chance to move six points ahead of Hibernian and showcase the Edinburgh derby on a wider stage.

With the loss of Rangers, the Clydesdale Bank Premier League has lost its grandstand fixture.

However, the SPL has also gained a Tayside and Highland derby following promotion for Dundee and Ross County. And the Easter Road clash on Sunday comes with the added spice of Hibs looking to avenge their 5-1 William Hill Scottish Cup final defeat in May.

Hearts, though, want to build on their opening-day win over St Johnstone and maintain the momentum after drawing Liverpool in the Europa League play-offs.

McGlynn said: "In Edinburgh, a derby game is a derby game but, because there is no Old Firm derby, then we might get more exposure in the wider public especially as the English scene is not quite started up yet.

"A lot of eyes are going to be on Easter Road so it's a big profile for us. There will probably be a couple of guys from Liverpool watching us. So it's a good opportunity for us to go and show that there is good football and good games in the Edinburgh derby."

While Hearts had a solid start to the campaign, Hibs lost 3-0 at Dundee United. Hibs boss Pat Fenlon, who could give debuts to Alan Maybury and Gary Deegan, is under pressure to secure real improvement following two-and-a-half years of struggle and restore some of the pride that was lost at Hampden in May.

McGlynn, who has Danny Grainger available after suspension, said: "It's not my concern but at the same time it's hard to avoid that.

"You would be wanting to put things right from the Scottish Cup final and also from last weekend.

"Dundee United played exceptionally well but Hibs will want to make amends for that as well. So we have to guard against that and make sure we don't lose the focus and look too far ahead to the Liverpool game. We have to focus on ourselves and be blinkered. We have got to go there and try to get six points ahead of Hibs so early in the season."

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