McGlynn: Pressure all on Hibs
John McGlynn talked up Hearts' recent supremacy in the Edinburgh derby ahead of Sunday's trip to Easter Road.
Hibernian's most recent win over Hearts was in May 2009. There have been 12 games since, including last season's painful 5-1 loss at Hampden in the Scottish Cup final on May 19, and fatefully the capital pair were drawn together as top-flight clubs entered the competition for the fourth round. Sitting next to the trophy, McGlynn, who was appointed successor to cup-winning boss Paulo Sergio in the summer, was like so many others in maroon and delighted to say "I was there". The Hearts boss said:
"We are the holders and because of that we want to keep a hold of it. That gives us extra motivation, not necessarily pressure.
"I think the pressure is on Hibs. It's a good few years now since they won it and we've won it twice recently, if memory serves me right, and three times in just slightly longer."
Hibs last lifted the Scottish Cup in 1902 and the Hampden loss meant it would be at least 111 years before they can do so again. Hearts, winners in 1998, 2006 and this year, are aiming to ensure the wait becomes a minimum of 112 years. Since surviving relegation from the SPL and the humiliating final reverse, Hibs appear revived at second in the table, with Hearts ninth. McGlynn, though, preferred to focus on Hearts' dominance in the capital clash, a run he is eager to continue, with the record 22-game unbeaten run spanning the late 1980s and early 1990s in his sights. He added:
"It's a derby game. In any season, in any situation, it's a massive game. "Sometimes it goes in cycles. We're very happy we're in a (cycle of) 12 and we're going to try to make it 13 on Sunday and on January 3 we'll try to make it 14.
"If you're a football player you want to try to beat that 22 so you've got a record. It's as simple as that."
While clearly enjoying the opportunity to remind Hibs of their inferiority in the fixture, McGlynn also recognised the cup final has no bearing on this weekend's fixture and he will not be sitting his side down in front of a video of the match. Along with Sergio, four of Hearts' starting XI from May 19 have left Tynecastle as part of a cost-cutting exercise, while Hibs' side is also much-changed. McGlynn said:
"You have to move on and you have to play this game on its merits.
"It's a different scenario altogether. We have to make sure we're not caught up in the past, we have to learn from the past, but we have to play this particular game and not get caught up too much in the occasion."
Hearts cup final goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald agreed. MacDonald said: "That's in the past. At the end of my career it's something I'll look back on with fond memories, but football moves on. "We've played about 20 games since the cup final. It's a new season, it's a different game.
"Hibs are a different team, we're a different team. It's a completely different game. It's separate from May."
The derby focus offers Hearts some respite from their off-field torment, including the imminent deadline over a £450,000 winding-up order. Director Sergejus Fedotovas has pleaded for further financial support and indicated that, if it was forthcoming, some squad improvements could be made in January. His comments attracted surprise given the parlous state of Hearts' finances and McGlynn expects any recruits would be replacing players who depart, not additional squad members. He said:
"If some players have got to go I think we'll probably have to replace them with some players who are financially more economical for the football club."
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