IT MAY have been an uninspiring Scottish Cup tie but Arnaud Djoum insists he was happy to put his African celebrations on hold to return to Hearts for Sunday’s Edinburgh derby.
Djoum jetted back into Edinburgh on Thursday just a few days after Cameroon’s momentous Africa Cup of Nations success in Gabon the previous Sunday.
Hugo Broos’ side stunned Egypt in the final to spark a ‘crazy’ party in Yaounde as the Indomitable Lions lifted the trophy for the fifth time in their history.
Djoum, who played the full 90 minutes against Egypt, lapped up the wild festivities but had to cut short the celebrations to head back to Scotland for Sunday’s clash with Hibs.
The 27-year-old started on the bench but came on in the second-half as the Jambos looked in vain for a winner in the goalless stalemate with bitter rivals Hibs.
And the former Anderlecht and Roda JC midfielder is adamant there was no way he was going to miss the clash, despite wanting to keep the party going in his homeland.
Speaking after Sunday’s goalless draw with Hibs, he explained: “I was on a high after winning the Africa Cup of Nations. When you do that, to win such a big trophy, you get more confidence in yourself.
“It is the best moment of my career, the biggest achievement. I never expected to win a cup like this so I’m very happy.
“It was amazing. We stayed in Gabon the first night to have a party with the people there. Then we got back to Cameroon.
“The people there were crazy. We had a tour of the city, we enjoyed it with them. It was a nice experience.
“But I knew I needed to get back to help Hearts. We had two days over there, to have a party and to enjoy it with the people. I did that.
“After that I had to come back as we have games coming.”
Djoum left to join up with his country after Hearts’ defeat to Aberdeen on December 30 and has returned to find a very different squad to the one he left behind.
And he is convinced the new-look Gorgie men have the quality to come out on top in the replay at Easter Road next Wednesday.
He added: “We have a lot of new players here. I trained a couple of days with them but I saw a lot of quality.
“There are more experienced players and we can use that in the replay. On a better pitch we will do better things so I’m confident we can get a result.”