HEARTS could plunge Hibernian deeper into relegation trouble on Sunday but Tynecastle captain Danny Wilson is maintaining a neutral stance over the play-off battle.
Hibs have won only won Scottish Premiership game since beating Hearts in their last Easter Road meeting on January 2 and find themselves just three points above second-bottom Ross County with four games left following five consecutive defeats.
Relegated Hearts are the form team going into their latest Leith encounter with a run of 10 points from four games, which started with a 2-0 victory over Terry Butcher’s men at Tynecastle.
Hibs fans turned up in Gorgie that day looking for a relegation party but Hearts lasted another two games before their fate was sealed and now the joke could be on them if Gary Locke’s team continue recent trends.
Hearts players such as Scott Robinson and Dale Carrick have welcomed the prospect of Hibs joining them in the Championship next term but Wilson was careful to avoid firing up their rivals as he launched the club’s new strip for next season.
When asked whether he would like four more derbies next term, the 22-year-old said: “”It’s not something I have really thought about. They are not in that position yet.
“We find ourselves relegated and it’s not a position we wanted to be in. Over and above that, I’m not really fussed who comes down with us.
“Between now and the end of the season, I’d like to see us continue this run that we’ve been on. We will probably have a big say on who does get that 11th place because we have got to play all the bottom six.
“But it’s out of our hands. All we can do is focus on ourselves. You can see in the last few weeks that’s what we’ve been doing and that’s what has helped us pick up the points.”
When asked whether he was surprised to see Hibs embroiled in the five-way fight to avoid a play-off against a Championship team, Wilson said: “They seemed to tail off a wee bit. That has happened this season, there have been teams who have gone through different stages of the season and not really picked up many points. We went through it ourselves and it seems to be Hibs’ turn at the moment.
“Hopefully they don’t turn up on Sunday, we are hoping that we can go and get three points down there, but I’m sure they will be fully motivated to try to get their season back on track. So I don’t need to say anything to give them any fuel for that.”
Hearts are looking for their fourth derby win of the campaign but Wilson feels they have not necessarily played better against Hibs than other teams.
“Things seem to have gone well for us in the derbies this season,” the former Liverpool and Rangers player said.
“At other times in the season we have put in better performances but not got the results on the day. There’s no secret, we always go into the derbies fully committed and we will do the same on Sunday to continue this run we have got going.
“Our aim is to finish as close to 11th place as we can and three points on Sunday would obviously help that.”