Thursday, July 7, 2022
SportHeartsHearts boss Craig Levein insists it is too early to call Hibs...

Hearts boss Craig Levein insists it is too early to call Hibs the dominant force in Edinburgh despite Paul Heckingbottom impact

Hearts boss Craig Levein insists Hibernian cannot yet claim to be the dominant force in Edinburgh despite the contrasting fortunes of the clubs in recent months.

While the mouth-watering prospect of a Scottish Cup final against Celtic on May 25 has gone some way to assuaging the anger of the Jambos’ fanbase, their Premiership malaise is stark, having lost four of their last five fixtures.

Over in Leith, meanwhile, Paul Heckingbottom is yet to experience a defeat on league duty, collecting 21 of a possible 27 points.

Included in that run was a 2-1 triumph at Tynecastle which ended a six-year wait for a victory in Gorgie. Hibs now lead Hearts by three points in the Premiership standings.

But, with the three meetings between the clubs this season resulting in one win apiece and one draw, he dismissed the notion that the Easter Road outfit have the upper hand.

“It’s always the same if you arrive somewhere and get off to a good start, as Paul Heckingbottom has,” said Levein. “Two things happen: the supporters get right behind you and the players think ‘aye, this guy knows what he’s talking about’.

“The start is really important. I’ve watched quite a few of their matches now and for me, they score at the important moments and don’t pass up many opportunities. They’re obviously feeling a wee bit better about themselves, which is understandable.

“But there is not enough evidence at this minute in time to say one team is dominating the other.

“It comes down to who does better on the day, who makes the least mistakes or who can provide a piece of magic – last time we were down there [1-0 in December] Olly Lee scored a wonderful goal. It is about what happens in the actual match rather than people’s mindsets going into it.”

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