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Taiwo relishing derby debut
Tom Taiwo is eagerly anticipating his first Edinburgh derby and is optimistic Hibernian can end their barren streak against Hearts on Sunday.
Top-flight clubs enter the Scottish Cup for the first time this weekend, with last season's finalists drawn together in the fourth round. Hearts won 5-1 on a woeful day for Hibs on May 19 and the green half of Edinburgh last beat the men in maroon in May 2009, 12 games ago. Hibs last lifted the Scottish Cup in 1902. Taiwo, who moved to Easter Road in September, said:
"It doesn't sound too good, does it? We want to put it right.
"It's a new team and a team with a new ethic and a new way of working, as you've seen through the results and the performances.
"Hopefully that will continue on Sunday." Hibs are second in the SPL, with Hearts ninth, after manager Pat Fenlon reformed the squad over the summer. Hibs drew 1-1 with Hearts in August and have lost only once at home all season, last weekend to Aberdeen. It is a far cry from last season when Hibs battled relegation and were embarrassed at Hampden. Taiwo, who moved to Hibs after leaving Carlisle, said:
"I watched the highlights and it wasn't great. Whenever I've watched Hibs in the past they've always turned in a decent display, good attacking football.
"Unfortunately that wasn't the case that day. We'll hope to put that right on Sunday."
While the focus appears to be on atoning for past failings, just four of the players who started at Hampden are in consideration for Sunday's match - Paul Hanlon, Jorge Claros, Lewis Stevenson and Leigh Griffiths - with five of the starters that day having left the club. Former Leeds and Chelsea midfielder Taiwo has been given an indication of what to expect on his first experience of the capital clash from his team-mates who have played in the fixture.
"I've just been told the atmosphere's going to be electric," he said.
"There's going to be no prisoners taken. It's going to be a tough, hard-working game and we're going to have to win the battle before we can get the ball down and start to play."
Composure will be important in the cauldron-like arena.
"It's all about discipline, especially when you're under this intense scrutiny like on Sunday," Taiwo added.
"You've got to be even more alert to things that could rile you on certain weeks and turn in a disciplined performance and one that gets you the win."
Hibs remained calm in a frenzied finale in the 1-0 win at St Johnstone on Wednesday. The focus immediately turned to Hearts after winning in Perth despite an unconvincing performance.
"The attention turned to putting right what we did wrong on Wednesday night and putting in an even stronger performance to hopefully get the win against Hearts," Taiwo added.
"We were very pleased with the win on Wednesday night, even if it wasn't a brilliant performance.
"We hope to build on the win with a positive performance and a win on Sunday."
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