Efe Ambrose expecting Hearts-Hibs clash to be different style of derby

Efe Ambrose is anticipating a more free-flowing Edinburgh derby when Hibs travel to Tynecastle to face league leaders Hearts tomorrow.

Efe Ambrose
Efe Ambrose

Recent showdowns between the Edinburgh rivals in Gorgie have been scrappy, hard-fought affairs. However, Ambrose believes that Hearts’ improvement, which has led to them surging six points clear at the top of the Premiership after finishing sixth last season, will increase the chances of the match becoming an entertaining spectacle rather than another war of attrition.

“It’s going to be a hard game,” the Hibs defender told the Evening News. “They’re doing well, no-one can take that away from them. They’ve started well and have only lost one [league] game. They’ve brought in a lot of players and made their squad more competitive, so they will be a bit different to the Hearts team we know from last season. Their style of play is a bit different this season and are also a bit different from last season. I think it will be more of a ball game than a physical game on Wednesday.”

Hibs’ four-game winning streak came to an end when they lost 4-2 away to Celtic two Saturdays ago. The Easter Road side, who finished fourth last season, currently sit sixth, eight points behind their city rivals with a game in hand. Ambrose is encouraged by the way things are going for his team and believes they can continue on an upward trajectory after coming through a testing summer.

“It has not been easy because we lost a lot of guys and a lot of new guys have come in but the ones who have come in have done very well,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries so we’ve not really had a chance to have everybody together as a group. But we are professionals and we all know what we are doing on the pitch. The gaffer only brings in players he trusts to stick with the aims and ambitions of the club, which is to do better than we did last season, to make sure we try and go a step above where we were last season.

“I believe we are on the track. We are doing well, we are not playing too badly. We just need to keep consistency, that is the most important thing.”

• Hibs Development Squad lost 3-2 to Kilmarnock in a Reserve League clash at Rugby Park yesterday. Killie took a 3-0 lead with goals by Calum Waters, Innes Cameron and an own goal. Hibs hit back through Josh Campbell and Jamie Gullan but the hosts held on to win.