Hibs keeper Ofir Marciano insists Hearts derby win cannot be used as excuse for Dunfermline stalemate



HIBS goalkeeper Ofir Marciano insists the draining Scottish Cup victory over Hearts is not an excuse after the Leith side were fortunate to avoid defeat in the weekend’s pulsating 2-2 draw with Dunfermline.

Just three days after knocking their city rivals out of the cup in an emphatic 3-1 victory, Neil Lennon’s side stormed to a two goal after 24 minutes against the Pars courtesy of Martin Boyle and Jason Cummings’ strikes.

But an error from captain David Gray allowed Paul McMullan to pull one back moments later, and Kallum Higginbotham brought the visitors level 27 seconds after the restart.

(Pic: Botend)

Dunfermline laid siege to the Hibs goal but Marciano frustrated the Fife outfit with a string of stunning saves.

Lennon put the performance down to the players being weary from their midweek exertions  but Israeli internationalist Marciano thinks differently.

He said: “It’s not an excuse because if you want to reach a high level, play in the Premiership and also dominate in the cup we need to handle that.

“We need to manage that. It’s not easy to go from a derby against Hearts, with 20,000 people and all the atmosphere, to playing against Dunfermline.

“It’s not easy but this is how big teams manage themselves. As professionals, we have to do better.

“We looked a bit tired. It’s not an excuse, but the boys did everything that they could.

“With success, we have more games so we are happy that we have more games.

“As a professional you have to know how to manage your week, how to treat your body so that you are fit and do the best that you can on the field.”

After the game, Hibs head coach Lennon said: “Mentally and physically they were tired.

“I knew Wednesday night would take a lot out of them.

“So I am pleased with the point. And sometimes you need your goalkeeper.
“It’s not very often he has been called upon this season and he made some magnificent saves. We may have lost that game last year.
“Now we have to rest and recover. I need to get some bodies back.”