Daniel Stendel declared it is ‘happy hour’ for Hearts as he toasted his side’s climb off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The Jambos boss celebrated back-to-back wins for the first time under his reign as the Gorgie men followed up Saturday’s shock win over Rangers with a 3-1 derby triumph against Hibernian at Easter Road.
Sean Clare, Oliver Bozanic and Conor Washington fired the goals which move Hearts up above Hamilton and Stendel made sure to drink up every moment of the wild celebrations at the end.
The only downer was Melker Hallberg’s late consolation strike for the hosts but Stendel hopes he will be raising another glass come the end of the season.
He said: “I enjoyed that. It’s my first derby victory and I think the result is great.
“To score three goals was great. It’s a brilliant win.
“The fight they showed was really, really good. The important thing is that we win. But we fought so much for a clean sheet so I’m a little bit unhappy for my players that we conceded such a late goal.
“We deserved to win. They deserve some happy hours after a long run of not such easy games.
“It’s only one step, one game in the league. We have 10 games left and we need to keep doing it every week.
“It’s good for our confidence that we can win two in a row. I hope we can do it three times in a row.
“It was great to see the players being applauded by the fans. After the Boxing Day defeat, I thought it was hard for the players to see the opposition celebrating in our castle. Now we’ve done it here.
“We have 10 games to go and, if we can play like this every Saturday, we have a chance of staying up.”
Hibs were lucky not to find themselves down to 10 men midway through the first half with striker Marc McNulty guilty of a blatant stamp on Clare’s back.
But that was pretty much the only blow the hosts landed before substitute Hallberg scrambled home with his first touch in the 89th minute.
Clare stroked home a penalty after a Scott Allan handball while expert finishes from Bozanic and Washington handed Hearts their first set of successive victories since July.
Now Hibs boss Jack Ross has urged his team to use the pain of defeat as inspiration for when the teams meet again in next month’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final.
“There are a few things to take from it. The soreness and rawness from losing a derby is there,” he said.
“I’m not encouraging them not to feel that. It’s important to recognise how sore it is.
“But they will be told they’re really poor. And they’re not. They’ve shown that – and they’ve got an opportunity to put that right.
“We’ve got a big chance to put it right in five or six weeks’ time.”
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