Hearts legend Rudi Skacel’s mind will be in the Czech Republic on Sunday but his heart will be at Tynecastle.
The midfielder is currently undergoing a mid-season training break with Mlada Boleslav and a friendly clash against Taborsko means the two-time Scottish Cup winner will not be able to watch the mouth-watering fifth round tie against city rivals Hibs.
Already a cup winner from 2006 when Hearts beat Gretna at Hampden, Skacel enhanced his reputation among the club’s fans when he scored twice in the incredible 5-1 victory over Hibs in the 2012 final.
And Skacel admits this weekend’s eagerly-awaited clash at Tynecastle is sure to be just as special.
Speaking to Capital City Press, he said: “The game is a similar time to a match over here so I don’t think I’ll be able to watch it.
“But I can imagine it will be a great atmosphere and it will be an amazing game for Edinburgh and for Scotland.
“It will be a great occasion. It’s a big game and it will be unbelievable atmosphere.
“I definitely miss the atmosphere of Tynecastle, it is amazing – especially for a derby game.
“Any full stadium is amazing but Tynecastle is special for me. Any football player loves to play in games like this in a full stadium and especially a derby.
“That’s why I think it’s important that both Hibs and Rangers get back to the Premiership quickly because you need big games and need the derby.
“It’s not good when you’re missing a big derby, Scottish football needs matches like that.”
Skacel, who scored a total of 48 goals over two separate spells at Hearts, is keen for the current crop of Hearts players to create new memories for the fans in this fixture.
He added: “I have nice memories of the past but now I look to the future.
“It’s a different story and different teams but it will be a great occasion. It’s a chance to get into the quarter finals
“I try not to look back, I focus on the future and the season.”
A lot has happened at Hearts since Skacel played his last game for the club in that final at Hampden.
Under the ownership of Ann Budge and backed by fans group the Foundation of Hearts, Hearts are looking to the future with optimism following the devastating effects of going into administration.
Skacel added: “It’s amazing what the Foundation of Hearts and the supporters have done for the club.
“The club have done really well and I think they should be aiming for second place so they can qualify for a Europa League place too.”
Skacel, meanwhile, admits he has rediscovered his love for the game at the age of 36.
The attacking midfielder, who had a spell at Dundee United during the 2012/13 campaign, added: “I thought I was maybe finished but life is strange.
“Last summer I had a last minute offer from my old manager (Karl Jarolim) to join him during for pre-season because he was looking for a couple of experienced players to be mentors to the younger players.
“We signed a deal for one-year and I feel really well and I’m enjoying football again.
“Milan Baros is also here and we try to help the younger players.
“At this moment I feel fit and the fact I can still keep up with the young boys gives me energy and motivation.
“Although in the last couple of years I’ve been called the grandpa in the changing room.”