Police Scotland visit Hibernian & Hearts ahead of Edinburgh derby showdown as Craig Levein and Neil Lennon unite to urge fans to be on their best behaviour for evening kick-off

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BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport

POLICE SCOTLAND have held talks with Hibernian and Hearts as the Edinburgh rivals prepare to meet for the first time since the ugly scenes that marred their 0-0 draw at Tynecastle. 

An underwhelming stalemate in October was completely overshadowed when visiting head coach Neil Lennon was struck by a coin thrown from the home supporters, while missiles were aimed at assistant referees Frank Connor and David McGeachie. 

A Hibs fan also aimed a punch at Hearts’ Zdenek Zlamal when the Czech goalkeeper sought to collect the ball from the away section. 

With the return fixture taking place at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, the relevant authorities have visited both clubs to ensure nothing is done to heighten tensions, while both managers have urged for calm from the stands. 

“We had the police in for a chat,” said Levein.

“We appreciate how difficult it is for them as well, so we don’t want any confrontation or nonsense. It [a police visit] is not a regular thing. I think it is just because of the circumstances surrounding the last match. They are just being diligent. 

“To be fair I don’t think the message was that the players could not enjoy themselves. It was more for the benefit of the coaching staff regarding keeping a lid on everything and not inciting any trouble.

“We just hope this goes smoothly without unnecessary nonsense. I just ask both sets of supporters to go along and enjoy themselves.”

Lennon added: “The Police came in to update us on a few things. Everyone’s safety is paramount on and off the field. The message to the supporters is: go and enjoy the game and go home safely and either celebrate or console each other.”

 
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