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Hibs skipper Gray keen to continue climb and leapfrog Hearts with derby win

Hibernian captain David Gray has enjoyed chasing teams down on their route into the top six – and is determined to keep doing it now they have Hearts in their sights.

A seven-match unbeaten run in the Ladbrokes Premiership since Paul Heckingbottom took charge has  guaranteed a top-half finish with one game to spare before the league splits.

Hibs were in eighth place when Heckingbottom arrived but will leapfrog Hearts into fifth if they win Saturday’s Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle.

Gray said: “We’ve done really well to get ourselves into that position.

“We always had short-term goals, we didn’t want to look too far ahead of ourselves.

“We have been saying all season that we want to be fighting at the top end of the league but the situation 10 weeks ago was we weren’t there.

“We had a lot of ground to make up to get in the top six and thankfully we have been able to do it. We always thought we were able to do it but it was always one game at a time and always chasing the team in front of us.

“That’s the way it has been for the last six or seven weeks and now that team is Hearts and we have an opportunity to go above them again on Saturday. That’s what we want to do, definitely.”

Meanwhile, Gray is optimistic that contract talks will lead to him extending his stay at Easter Road beyond the summer.

The club’s 2016 William Hill Scottish Cup final hero said: “It’s something we are talking about but the full focus has always been on the playing side, staying fit and staying in the team and contributing that way. That’s the most important thing for me at the minute.

“But I think everybody knows that I love being at the club, I love being here, and I’ve got no intentions of going anywhere else.

“So hopefully I can get that sorted as soon as possible.”