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Johnson savours Edinburgh derby victory as Hibs down Hearts
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Anthony Brown
Press Association
Lee Johnson enjoyed his first derby win (Steve Welsh/PA)
Lee Johnson enjoyed his first derby win (Steve Welsh/PA)

Hibernian boss Lee Johnson admitted he had a tear in his eye after his team defeated Hearts in the first Edinburgh derby since the passing of club owner Ron Gordon in February.

Kevin Nisbet scored the only goal of the game in the second half as the Easter Road side ended a run of nine matches without a win over their city rivals, sparking jubilant scenes at full-time.

Johnson revealed afterwards that Gordon, who lost his cancer battle aged 68 less than two months ago, featured prominently in his thoughts as he savoured an “emotional” victory.

“I’m sure Ron was looking down on us and would have enjoyed that one himself,” said Johnson after Hibernian ended a run of four consecutive defeats in the cinch Premiership.

“Ron’s always with us. We are going to put a collage of him up at the training ground, and he lives on through us and through his family as well.

“I wish he’d been there today because it would have been a fantastic thing for him to see but he’s a constant in terms of the way we speak of him.

“He gave a lot of us our opportunities here. It felt like a great win, it was quite emotional at the end.

“We felt like we owed something today to the fanbase, they deserved that one.

“It was a great club win that and I’m just so proud for everyone in club colours.”

Johnson, who took charge last summer, had spoken previously of his desire to hear Sunshine on Leith, by The Proclaimers, sung by the Hibs support after a big win.

The Hibs boss finally got his wish on Saturday afternoon and is hoping the euphoria caused by victory over their city rivals can help forge a strong bond between the fans and the players.

“I had a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye listening to Sunshine on Leith at the end,” Johnson said.

“You work hard, the boys work hard and you just want to give back. When that song comes out it means everyone is happy.

“We have let the fans down a couple of times this year, probably a few too many times.

“Just when that bond starts to get created between the players, staff and fanbase we have fallen a bit short.

“We are building this so that’s a big win for us to build the connection and trust with the fanbase. You see how powerful it is when everyone is unified.”

The win moved Hibs to within two points of Hearts, who have now lost six games in a row in all competitions.

Hearts caretaker manager Steven Naismith, who took the reins following Robbie Neilson’s sacking last weekend, admitted his side lacked a threat.

“I didn’t think there was too much in the game and I didn’t think it was a great game,” said Naismith. “It lacked a bit of quality and we didn’t carry enough of a threat.

“One set-play moment cost us. I thought overall we defended their direct play, long balls and individual threats very well.

“How quickly we got the ball into the final third wasn’t quick enough, and that’s been something that’s been at this team for a while.”


Scottish PremiershipHeartsHibernian
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