Hibernian will not grant Hearts a guard of honour

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HIBERNIAN will refuse to grant Hearts a guard of honour when the teams take to the field for this Sunday’s Edinburgh derby, The Scotsman understands.

Robbie Neilson’s side received a congratulatory applause from their opposition upon exiting the players’ tunnel in each of their three games since winning the SPFL Championship title.

Hibernian officials have spared Alan Stubbs's men from having to grant their rivals such a gesture. Picture: Gordon Fraser

Hibernian officials have spared Alan Stubbs's men from having to grant their rivals such a gesture. Picture: Gordon Fraser

This even extended to last Sunday’s encounter with Rangers at Ibrox, while both Queen of the South and Alloa Athletic obliged when they travelled to Tynecastle.

However, in the pre-operations meeting between officials of both sides, Hearts were told in no uncertain terms that Stubbs’s men would not be instructed to follow suit.

Sunday’s match is the fourth derby between the teams this season with Hearts winning the first encounter and the other two ending in 1-1 draws.

Hibs remain in second place on goal difference above Rangers, and received a well-timed boost midweek as they managed to halt a three-game skid with a win over Dumbarton, while Rangers lost 3-0 at Queen of the South. While finishing second is not imperative, it would grant Hibs two less games to play in their bid to return to the SPFL Premiership at the first time of asking, particularly as they will have a Scottish Cup semi, and possibly even a final, also to play.

Hearts received a guard of honour at Ibrox last Sunday. Picture: Jane Barlow

Hearts received a guard of honour at Ibrox last Sunday. Picture: Jane Barlow

Hearts have lost only one of their last eight Edinburgh derbies and the Gorgie Road side will look to extend that record as they chase a tally of 100 league goals this season. Neilson’s men are currently 10 strikes away with four games remaining.

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