Hearts-Hibs reaction: Lee Johnson's Celtic nerves quip, Peter Haring concern, repeat offender needs to learn

Three observations from Saturday’s chaotic Edinburgh derby between Hearts and Hibs at Tynecastle…

Looking ahead

While Steven Naismith waits to learn his future and whether he will be asked to continue the recruitment work he says he has already had a hand in, at Hibs there are plans afoot to try to enlist the kind of quality that would see them chase down third place next term rather than scrapping for fourth and fifth.

And, although there was disappointment with the final result at Tynecastle and the way they failed to make the extra man advantage count, they will be significantly soothed if Celtic win the treble next weekend and provide them with a route into the European qualifiers this summer

Hearts' Lawrence Shankland and Hibs' Allan Delferriere compete during the Edinburgh derby draw at Tynecastle. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)Hearts' Lawrence Shankland and Hibs' Allan Delferriere compete during the Edinburgh derby draw at Tynecastle. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Hearts' Lawrence Shankland and Hibs' Allan Delferriere compete during the Edinburgh derby draw at Tynecastle. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And, according to manager Lee Johnson there should be a number of new faces around by then to help them negotiate those ties.

"I'm proud of the second half of the season,” said the Easter Road boss. "If I look at the big picture now of where we are compared to where we were, we're in a fantastic place to progress.

"I will make changes over the summer, without a question of a doubt, there will be ins and outs. I'm not finished, we're not finished. Everything is looking up - the points tally in the top six has been good. I felt we should have beaten Aberdeen which potentially could have been another two points.

"We've got the summer to build that 30 per cent within the squad that we're after – a bit more quality, change the dynamic a little bit, freshen the group up and then we go again.

"It's a short summer which is good, but we need Celtic to do us a favour because we want to be in that European competition. I will be watching the final. I'll be as nervous as any Celtic fan. Maybe I should recall Dan Mackay from his loan spell at Inverness before the final!”


Surely, only the hardest-hearted Hibee could have failed to have any kind of sympathy for Peter Haring when he slammed to the Tynecastle turf after just 18 minutes of the match.

Although, it was an undoubted advantage to them to see him leave the pitch so early in proceedings, it was a terrible blow to the Austrian who has had to watch a major part of what has been a frustrating and worrying season from the sidelines following a concussion at Pittodrie in October.

Finally regaining full fitness and a regular place in the starting line-up, after several set-backs, he had penned a new deal that will keep him at the club beyond the summer in the preceding days and will have been hoping for a bright end to the campaign.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But the early collision with Jake Doyle-Hayes saw them both going down. The Irishman was able to continue - until he suffered his own misfortune later in the game, going off with a reported shoulder dislocation - albeit with a cracker of a lump on his forehead, but Hearts were taking no chances with their man.

The Leith club will have to wait to see just how serious Chris Cadden’s injury proves after the wingback had to be carried off on a stretcher with what appeared to be a calf injury. There will be scans carried out to assess the extent of the damage.

Time to learn

It was an ignominious end to the season for Hearts’ Alex Cochrane, who picked up another red card in a season that had already delivered a couple.

No-one who watched his clattering of Chris Cadden, live or thanks to the many television reruns, will consider his challenge as malicious but it was clumsy and it was worthy of the sending off and the free-kick, which Kevin Nisbet slammed home to rub salt in the wounds.

It also could have been even more costly to the club had his team-mates not rallied and worked their backsides off to mitigate the damage and cling on to fourth spot.

Awareness of the dangers and preempting them will need to be something the young Englishman learns ahead of the new campaign. An asset to Hearts when he is on the field, this season has shown just how harmful rash challenges can prove.

He isn’t the only one who will need to address his behaviour to avoid leaving his colleagues to cope without him. Hibs manager Lee Johnson, has already had to serve a ban this season and he will undoubtedly miss a couple of games at the start of the new campaign, after he swung a fist at his opposite number, Steven Naismith, at full-time.

It was what kicked off the whole after-match spat, and what dragged his defender Rocky Bushiri into the melee to back him up, helping to fire him up to such an extent that he had to be hauled away by a couple of club employees. That resulted in both player and manager being shown red cards by referee Don Robertson after they finally retired to the dressing room.

That means Bushiri, who has just returned from an injury lay-off will also be left on the naughty step at the start of the new season.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.