Hibernian still superior to Hearts, says Robertson

HIBERNIAN midfielder Scott Robertson still believes the Easter Road side are superior to city rivals Hearts - despite losing four Edinburgh derbies this season.
Hibs' Scott Robertson tackles Callum PatersonHibs' Scott Robertson tackles Callum Paterson
Hibs' Scott Robertson tackles Callum Paterson

But the former Scotland midfielder, who made his return to action in last Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to the Tynecastle side after almost four months out with a knee injury, claims Hearts have tried harder against the Leith side than the rest of the teams facing them in the Scottish Premiership.

Hibs’ latest derby defeat was another humiliation for a side that has triumphed just once from five local encounters this term.

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Despite their win, Gary Locke’s men are destined for relegation after failing to overturn the 15-point punishment handed to them for going into administration.

But Terry Butcher’s team are in free-fall too, with a run of 10 matches without a win leaving them perched just a point above the relegation play-off spot.

And were it not for Hearts’ points deduction, Robertson’s side would actually sit level with their Gorgie foes.

But the former Dundee United man insists Hibs have been unlucky in their derby clashes so far.

He said: “They say derbies normally take care of themselves. You see it all the time, it seems like underdogs raise their game for those type of games. It’s not up to us to say that Hearts have been underdogs, but everybody has put them in that position all season.

“However, if you tell me that they put in that much effort against every other team then I’d say you’re lying because obviously they raise their game for the derby. They obviously got the right results but we feel like we’ve been the better team and not got the right result against them.”

Hibs’ last derby success was January’s 2-1 Easter Road triumph, but instead of taking a confident stride on from that result they stumbled from one nightmare to another.

Only Ross County have been beaten since and the green and white half of the capital are now desperately worried they could be set for the same fate as their maroon rivals.

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“We’ve only won one game since we beat Hearts in January but I can’t put a finger on why we haven’t kicked on from that win,” said Robertson. “It’s just obviously not been good enough.

“We haven’t scored enough goals and kept enough clean sheets and it’s a really bad combination, so we need to focus on keeping a clean sheet. If you don’t lose goals you don’t lose games so that would be a good start.

“If there was a formula to follow everybody would be successful it’s not as easy as that. The manager has been working hard, listening to a lot of what we’ve had to say, pulling advice from other people who have been in similar situations and trying to find the best solution”

Robertson was a surprise starter last week after Butcher gambled on his fitness less than a fortnight after returning from damaged knee ligaments.

But after a 67-minute run out, the 29-year-old now feels up to speed and is desperate to help his side get back to winning ways against Partick in Edinburgh on Saturday.

He said: “I enjoyed being back on the pitch; it was just a shame we couldn’t get the result that everybody craved so much.

“After an hour of the derby my lack of game time was starting to tell a wee bit. I was making a couple of stray passes and my touch was not as good as it should have been and so the manager made the right call to take me off.

“Results have not been great while I was out, but in all honesty the last two weeks in training have been quite buoyant and now we just want to get back out there this weekend.”