Hibs' Dylan Vente haunted by Hearts derby incident - 'I start rethinking it, like 70 times'

Striker’s miss continues to play on mind ahead of Motherwell clash

Dylan Vente has already replayed the recent derby defeat at least 70 times in his head – well, certain moments of it anyway.

Like team-mate Martin Boyle, who missed the early penalty, the Hibs striker had chances to get the better of Hearts keeper Zander Clark but came up short, with the Leith hosts ultimately rueing their profligacy as Hearts grabbed a late winner. And, the Dutchman is not the kind of player who can easily shrug off those misses, revealing he torments himself with action replays and what ifs long into the night.

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“I am hard on myself because I know I can do more,” said Vente. “For me it’s more if I miss chances, as a striker I am really disappointed. But I also have to find a way to get those chances. I replay them in my mind but if you want to sleep, I can’t, I am thinking like crazy. I take a moment out of a game and I start rethinking it, like 70 times. I think it is better to go to sleep and watch it the next day but I think that is normal for a footballer. If you miss a chance then you think maybe I should have hit it with my left foot, or right foot. You start overthinking.”

Dylan Vente missed this chance for Hibs in the 1-0 defeat by Hearts.Dylan Vente missed this chance for Hibs in the 1-0 defeat by Hearts.
Dylan Vente missed this chance for Hibs in the 1-0 defeat by Hearts.

Away from his homeland for the first time in his career, the 24-year-old has had to tackle those mental demons alone this term, relying on phone calls home. But the festive period offered him some support, with first his parents over for Christmas before his brother arrived in time to help pick him up after the derby. “After the game I am always complaining, complaining, complaining but my brother is always like, ‘be calm, it will come next time’,” continued Vente. “He keeps me calm but after the derby it was hard to keep me calm.

“I’m a family man so it was good to see them. Maybe some people see you as a football player and don’t see the other side, there is always a normal guy inside who wants to see his family. Sometimes I miss home but that’s football and part of the job. If my family is not here then I always call my dad, he always watches the games. I always talk with him and my dad is always like, ‘take it easy’, he is not a complainer, even if I play bad he always sees the positives – that is good. For the Hearts game it was hard.”

A win that night would have squeezed the gap between themselves and the Gorgie side, who head into 2024 in third spot. Instead, they sit nine points adrift, albeit with a game in hand. And, while manager Nick Montgomery is looking to strengthen the squad, with injuries and international duties thinning numbers in the meantime, the onus is on the likes of Vente to make an impact against Motherwell. “Martin [Boyle] is away with Australia now. Josh [Campbell] has an injury,” added Vente. “But there is enough quality in the team and they can all contribute. Even if you have troubles, on the pitch it’s just you and the ball. I can take it out of my head. We have had a team meeting and now we have to look forward to the game.”