Hearts derby hero Andy Halliday on role both sets of fans played in win over Hibs - and speaks on injury

The first shot, from a corner routine, was sent high over the bar much to the delight of the Hibs fans packed into the Roseburn Stand. It was all the encouragement they needed to remind Andy Halliday of their 2016 Scottish Cup final win over his then Rangers side.

It happened again five minutes later.

Hibs were leading in the derby at Tynecastle Park and the visiting support were savouring every moment, in particular their chance to poke fun at Halliday.

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But it was the 30-year-old who had the last laugh. Or laughs. Shots three and four of the match ended up in the back of the net as Hearts won 3-1 and secured third-place.

Andy Halliday scored a double as Hearts beat Hibs 3-1. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

That teasing and pressure can play on the minds of some players but for others it acts as fuel to their performance. Halliday falls into the latter category.

He said: “I get a bit of stick everywhere I go, unfortunately! It’s part and parcel of football and derby games, it doesn’t bother me at all, it’s all in good jest.

“It’s obviously a big derby and I have always been a football player who enjoys these.

“A bit of a sing-song when you’re one down with a lot of time to go can sometimes drive you on to impose yourself on the game. And thankfully I was able to get a couple of goals."

He added: "We’ve shown throughout the season we can face adversity. I'd like to thank the fans because their role in that was really important. I thought the stadium stayed with the team even though we went 1-0 down really early. It’s not easy going behind at home in a derby.

"It’s a massive game, one that means so much to the football club and the people in this city so to be part of this and get three points means a lot.

“You’ll reflect on your career and look back on days like today, playing in these big games. It’s a real privilege.

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"I think it is important that over the next 48 hours that we reflect on how far we’ve come.

"Third place is secured and European football. We certainly feel as if we belong at that level.”

‘Rest and ice’

Halliday has emerged as an important squad member, displaying exactly why it was smart business for Hearts to secure him on a new deal.

He deserved his standing ovation after being taken off as a precaution ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final after a knock on his Achilles.

"I feel fine,” he said. “It’s an injury I have had off and on for a couple of years. Another kick and twist on it flared it up again. Rest and ice to make sure I’m ready to go again next week.

“Next week is massive, not only for the bragging rights for both teams in the city, but financially it could mean a lot.

“I don’t believe form comes into play in cup games.

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“I don’t think Hibs were in great form when they beat Rangers in the League Cup. We know Hibs have quality players, they showed that in the first 20 minutes.

“It’s important that we attack the game in the same way. As long as we play our football and stick to the task then we can do well."

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