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Heckingbottom calls on Hibs players to 'dig each other out'

The head coach says players need to inspire each other if they are to victors in the derby.

Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom has told his players they need to motivate each other to win the derby and reverse their current run of form.

The Easter Road side face Hearts on Sunday with both teams struggling for points. Hearts are bottom of the league but Heckingbottom has also come in for criticism with his side only taking one point from their last four games.

The coach said he wasn't feeling the pressure and said that when it comes to Sunday's showdown it'll be the players and not the figures on the touchline that will determine who comes out on top.

"We've got a good group of lads here but we need an edge," he said. "You've got to be honest with each other, you've got to tell people if they're not doing their jobs.

"We're really clear in what's expected of them but - well, Sunday's a perfect example - they're not going to be able to hear me from the sideline.

"They've got to be willing to dig each other out, encourage each other and demand from each other.

"We've been practising it a bit in training and putting bigger expectations on the players.

"What you can't do is accept what you get, you have always got to be striving and trying to get better, always, regardless of what your results are right at that moment.

"So it's good habits, we've started building some good habits."

Heckingbottom said that he wouldn't have time to be thinking of his predicament or Levein's during the game but would have a beer and a chat with his rival after the final whistle. But he was also aware that win or lose, the emotions of the game meant that there would be more than just points attached to the result.

"We saw it when we won away last season at Tynecastle, it was only three points but the feeling of it was immense, really enjoyable," he said.

"We were speaking last week about it, it magnifies all emotion and magnifies all feelings so you want to make sure it's a positive feeling you're getting because everything is magnified in these games.

"That's the importance of them, that's the significance of them and it's why we all enjoy them.

"Any time you get this game it's a special game. It probably adds a bit more edge to it that both teams are desperate for a win.

"Whenever these games come up they've been fantastic so I think previous results are irrelevant for this game, the significance of it is always big but in terms of momentum and shifting that, we're desperate for the win."

'There's been fall-outs, there's been fights, there's been bad tackles.'

Hibs defender Lewis Stevenson believes players have to put everything on the line to get the win they crave and said that fiery scenes in training showed they were ready to show they had the bite to compete.

"We're not going to hide the fact that there's a lot of pressure on both teams," he said. "I've come into derbies in good form before, and in bad form. That goes out the window when the game starts.

"I don't think we go into games trying to be pretty. We go into games trying to win but maybe it looks like that on the outside, that we have possession without doing much.

"We have to be ruthless with the ball and without. If that's steaming into a tackle then so be it, or if it is being clinical in front of goal or making a block in your own penalty box. These are the small margins that can win games.

"This week has been probably the best training we've had. There's been fall-outs, there's been fights, there's been bad tackles. It's just frustration boiling over that we've not been getting results or putting performances in.

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