Hibernian V Hearts at Easter Road Stadium : Match Preview

26 April 2014 12:01
Hibernian V Hearts - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

McGivern returns for Hibs

Hibernian defender Ryan McGivern returns from suspension for the Edinburgh derby against Hearts.

James McPake played 90 minutes for the under-20s in midweek but is not ready for a Scottish Premiership comeback, while Scott Robertson is still building up his fitness after a knee problem.

Paul Heffernan (thigh) and Paul Hanlon (knee) are both out for the season.

Manager Terry Butcher believes his players are ready to show their mettle.

Butcher's side have won only one game since their New Year victory over Hearts on January 2 to leave them embroiled in a five-way fight to avoid a relegation play-off.

Goalkeeper Ben Williams accused some of his team-mates of being "soft" and "spoiled" after last weekend's 2-0 defeat by 10-man St Mirren, who opened the scoring after 13 seconds, and Butcher feels they are ready to respond.

"I read a few comments from some of the players after last Saturday about sticking your chest out, showing more pride and standing up and being counted," the former England captain said.

"That's what we have been talking about all week and that's what we intend to do.

"To do that we have got to be confident in the way we want to play, confident in each other and confident that we can get the right result for Hibernian Football Club."

Hearts midfielder Jamie Hamill is suspended after being sent off for barging over Ross County manager Derek Adams but captain Danny Wilson returns from a ban.

Striker Paul McCallum has recovered from an ankle problem to make the squad but Callum Tapping remains on the sidelines with a knee injury.

A fourth derby win of the season for relegated Hearts, who were deducted 15 points for going into administration, would leave Hibs in deep trouble.

But boss Gray Locke said: "The only thing that concerns me and it has done all season, is Heart of Midlothian, the survival of the club.

"And now we are going down here, and it is a big game, an Edinburgh derby, but with no other thought than trying to get three points for ourselves because it would be great if we can finish within 15 points of the team above us and that has got to be our target.

"Whatever happens anywhere else certainly doesn't concern myself or any of the players here.

"Honestly, it has never even crossed my mind. It's a difficult game against a good Hibs side. I know that of late their form has not been great but in my opinion they have still got a really strong squad with good players and a really good management team."

Source: PA