Daniel Stendel urges Hearts to build on derby win over Hibs as Jack Ross rues 'sore' defeat

German wants to build on win as Easter Road boss backs side to do the business in semi

Daniel Stendel applauds the Hearts fans at full time
Daniel Stendel applauds the Hearts fans at full time

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel has urged his players to continue building on the comprehensive derby win over Hibs that lifted the Tynecastle side off the bottom of the Premiership table.

Sean Clare’s penalty after 52 minutes broke the deadlock and Hearts went further ahead through Oli Bozanic and Conor Washington. Substitute Melker Hallberg struck a late consolation for Hibs.

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“It is only one step,” said Stendel. “It is only one game in the league. We have ten games left. We need to do it again on Saturday, and again next week. But it is good for our confidence to know we can do it two times in a row. I hope we can show we can do it three times in a row this weekend.”

Hearts host Motherwell on Saturday and then travel to face St Mirren, three points above them in tenth place, in a rearranged league game next midweek.

Tuesday night's win is the first time Hearts have won successive games under the German. They defeated Rangers 1-0 on Saturday to set up a Scottish Cup semi-final clash with Hibs.

Stendel would not comment on whether last night’s result would have any bearing on that game in April. But he did claim it was revenge after Hearts lost so limply to their rivals at Tynecastle in December.

“After the Boxing Day defeat, I thought it was hard for the players and fans to see the opposition celebrating in our castle,” he said. “Now we’ve done it here.”

There was some controversy in the first half when Hearts midfielder Sean Clare was stamped on by Marc McNulty on the far touchline. Referee Kevin Clancy did not even book the Hibs striker.

Neither Stendel nor opposite number Jack Ross felt able to comment on the incident having not seen it. But Clare was adamant he had been kicked – and television pictures helped back him up.

“There were enough cameras there to answer those questions,” said the midfielder. “I haven’t seen it back but I felt like it was a stamp at the time and I’ll let people make their minds up.

“I said to the ref I thought it was a stamp, I was on the floor so couldn’t see it. I haven’t seen it myself but I have been told it’s not great.”

Ross insisted his team were not as poor as the result might suggest. “There are a few things to take from it,” he said. “The soreness and rawness from losing a derby is there. I’m not encouraging them not to feel that. It’s important to recognise how sore it is.

“But they will be told they’re really poor. And they’re not. They’ve shown that – and they’ve got an opportunity to put that right in five or six weeks’ time.”