Hibs' Nick Montgomery explains his Sky Sports mic Hearts derby call - and reveals request from his wife

Manager believes groundbreaking move will help promote Scottish game

Nick Montgomery has no qualms about being mic’d up for Wednesday night’s capital derby – but he admits he is already under orders from his wife to tone down any bad language.

In a ground-breaking move for Scottish football, the Hibs boss will be wired for sound and his assistant Sergio Raimundo will wear a bodycam as the broadcaster and the Edinburgh sides offer fans an access all areas experience. The cameras will also be allowed into the manager’s office and the dressing room for pre and post-match interviews.

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Hearts will give Sky Sports access to the team hotel during the build up and a player will wear a body cam throughout the warm up, but manager Steven Naismith was “not interested” in allowing them into the technical area, especially given how “heated” and “passionate” derbies can be. Montgomery understands that it is a personal choice but says he is happy to try something fresh if it offers fans greater insight.

Hibs manager Nick Montgomery will have a different type of microphone to deal with against Hearts.Hibs manager Nick Montgomery will have a different type of microphone to deal with against Hearts.
Hibs manager Nick Montgomery will have a different type of microphone to deal with against Hearts.

“Hopefully it can lift the profile of the fixture and Scottish football, as a whole,” Montgomery explained. This is an initiative by Hearts, Hibs, Sky Sports and the SPFL. If it can help the fans feel a little bit closer, I think it’s great. Look around the world, even down south, there is a lot more interactive stuff going on, more documentaries where the cameras get all access. Teams like Arsenal and Manchester City have let the fans see behind the scenes. This is a showpiece game for Scottish football, one of the biggest derbies, and that was why there were discussions between Sky Sports, both clubs and the SPFL about this game. I’m the manager of the club and all I can do is show the club in the best light possible.”

That could mean tempering his language, if he is to avoid his wife Josie’s disapproval, though. “My wife is always telling me to curb my language,” added Montgomery. “But there is definitely some industrial football language in the technical area. When you get passionate about anything, the swear words do come out. But I’ve definitely tried to improve on that because I’ve got three girls – and it’s not the sort of language I want to be known for. But it’s passionate. And you have fans who book their seats behind the dugout every season; they get it live and in person every other week. Maybe fans in the other parts of the stadium don’t really get to see what goes on the bench.”

Buoyed by his first Edinburgh derby experience, when his men fought back from 2-0 down to share the spoils at Tynecastle, in October, he insists that all the added extras will not be a distraction, saying he will “still be 100 per cent focused on getting the best result”. “I’ve been involved in situations like this before and I can honestly say it doesn’t affect the game,” he added. “There was documentary stuff in the A-League that I was involved in. That involved being mic’d up. Sometimes you forget you’ve got the microphone on and obviously it’s a passionate game. I’ll definitely be myself and I’m sure the staff will be no different. We’re almost in 2024 now and this is the way sport is going around the world. If it promotes Scottish football, that’s great.”

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