Paul Heckingbottom revealed he has been placing more responsibility on his Hibernian players in training ahead of Sunday’s Edinburgh derby clash with Hearts.
Pressure has been mounting on both clubs ahead of their first meeting of the season, with each team heading into the game in poor form.
Hibs have picked up just one point from their last four league games, while Hearts sit bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership table after failing to win any of their first five matches of the campaign.
Heckingbottom called for more character from his troops after last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Kilmarnock and he hopes the work they have done in training this week will give them the tools to succeed at Easter Road on Sunday.
He said: “We’ve got a good group of lads here but we need an edge. You’ve got to be honest with each other, you’ve got to tell people if they’re not doing their jobs.
“We’re really clear in what’s expected of them but – well, Sunday’s a perfect example – they’re not going to be able to hear me from the sideline.
“They’ve got to be willing to dig each other out, encourage each other and demand from each other.
“We’ve been practising it a bit in training and putting bigger expectations on the players.
“What you can’t do is accept what you get, you have always got to be striving and trying to get better, always, regardless of what your results are right at that moment.
“So it’s good habits, we’ve started building some good habits.”
Heckingbottom is viewing the crunch clash as just another opportunity to pick up three vital points rather than anything more, but he acknowledges the benefits of winning a derby game and is keen to get another taste of the winning feeling he enjoyed in April last season when Hibs won away at Hearts.
He added: “We saw it when we won away last season at Tynecastle, it was only three points but the feeling of it was immense, really enjoyable.
“We were speaking last week about it, it magnifies all emotion and magnifies all feelings so you want to make sure it’s a positive feeling you’re getting because everything is magnified in these games.
“That’s the importance of them, that’s the significance of them and it’s why we all enjoy them.
“Any time you get this game it’s a special game. It probably adds a bit more edge to it that both teams are desperate for a win.
“Whenever these games come up they’ve been fantastic so I think previous results are irrelevant for this game, the significance of it is always big.
“But it terms of momentum and shifting that, we’re desperate for the win.”
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