Miller up for Edinburgh derby day

01 January 2010 03:45
Hibernian midfielder Miller, 28, has experienced derby matches the length and breadth of the UK, playing in the Old Firm, Manchester and Tyne-Wear versions as well as all-London and all-Yorkshire affairs.

Born in Cork and a Republic of Ireland international, Miller has no geographic ties to any of the clubs he has represented, while Hibs' squad is full of die-hard Edinburgh-born fans.

But Miller is adamant no one will want to beat Hearts more than him in Sunday's Scottish Premier League clash at Easter Road.

"To be fair, I think we all know what's at stake with the derby games," he said.

"You have the local lads as well but I think everyone knows how important the derby games are."

Miller made his Edinburgh derby debut in November's dour goalless draw at Tynecastle.

Asked how the occasion compared to his experiences with the likes of Celtic, Manchester United and Sunderland, Miller said: "They're all quite similar, really.

"Obviously, there is more heat in the derby games, with the fans and everything.

"I enjoyed the occasion last time and I'm looking forward to it this time as well."

Third-placed Hibs would have been firm favourites to beat their arch-rivals a fortnight ago, having put together a 12-match unbeaten run in the SPL, while Hearts were languishing at the wrong end of the table.

But the visitors will arrive at Easter Road on the back of a hat-trick of wins, while their opponents were crushed 4-1 by Rangers last time out.

"It's a really big game for us, one we hope to win and obviously put in a really good performance as well," Miller said.

"We want to get back to winning ways as quickly as we can, really, and we're obviously disappointed with the last game and looking to put things right."

He added: "The derby games are always special, with the bragging rights of the city.

"But it's going to be a really tough game. Hearts have been well quite recently and it's one we need to play our best to win."

Victory on Sunday would maintain Hibs' push for a Europa League spot at the end of the season.

European football is something for Miller to look forward to after he was denied the chance to play in this summer's World Cup.

Thierry Henry's infamous handball in France's play-off with Ireland still rankles with many but Miller is determined to move on.

"It was a bit of a sick bag really," he said of the incident which saw former Arsenal captain Henry use his hand to set up the goal which eliminated Ireland.

"It's happened, it's done and dusted now and you just need to move on.

"Obviously, Ireland won't be there.

"It's just disappointing but you get on with it."

Asked if he had been able to forgive Henry for his actions, Miller added: "You just wonder what you'd have done if you were in his shoes I suppose."

Hibernian Evens, Draw 9/4, Hearts 3/1  

Source: Team_Talk

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