Hearts manager Craig Levein insists he made the controversial ‘natural order’ remark because he has been used to winning against Hibs in the Edinburgh derby for a ‘long, long time’.
The capital foes lock horns in tomorrow evening’s televised showdown at Easter Road for the first time since Leven infuriated Leith counterpart Neil Lennon with his comments in the wake of Hearts’ 1-0 Scottish Cup win in January.
The Gorgie outfit savoured success in the fixture for the first time in ten matches two months ago and Levein claimed that ’natural order’ had been restored, while Lennon branded his post match interview as a ‘crook of crap’ and ‘disrespectful’.
And the former Scotland manager, who is in his second stint in the Hearts dugout having also played for the club, has attempted to explain his comments.
Levein, who is hoping to have captain Christophe Berra available after the defender sustained a head knock in last weekend’s Scottish Cup quarter-final defeat to Motherwell said: “My experiences of this game are ones of positivity and from the teams I’ve been involved in, I’m used to coming out on top in this fixture and that was my point.
“Part of it was tongue in cheek of course, but my experiences of this derby match are usually, we win the game and that’s what it’s been like for a long, long time.”
Levein reckons a Hibs team gunning for revenge in the fixture could work in Hearts’ favour.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he added: “Hibs will be determined, especially at home, to beat us in this fixture, and I understand that.
“But from my point of view, the harder they try the better it is for us.”