Hibernian goalkeeper David Marshall feels their form under Nick Montgomery has added spice to the festive derby against Hearts.
Hibs go into Wednesday’s game with the chance to move two points off third-placed Hearts in the cinch Premiership.
The former Scotland international said: “It’s a big game because we have obviously put ourselves in a decent position points-wise since the manager came in so the clubs are that much closer.
“It’s always a big game and everybody likes the festive period, there’s an extra bit of spice with the derbies at that time.
“It’s not a defining one. It’s a huge game, there is still half a season to go, but they always weigh heavily and it’s the first fixture you look out for.
“It’s good to be at home and hopefully we can put on a performance.”
Hibs had a frustrating build-up to Christmas with defeat against St Johnstone followed by the postponement of their game against Ross County in Dingwall.
But they sign off for the winter break with two consecutive games at Easter Road, where they are unbeaten under Montgomery, and Marshall feels the visits of Hearts and Motherwell offer the chance to build a strong platform for the second half of the season.
The 38-year-old said: “We lost the first three games of the season so you are chasing your tail a little bit in terms of nine points gone.
“But we have put ourselves in a points position where these games can set us up well for the second half of the season
“It’s a marker, the break, and we want to send our fans off with a good feeling and give ourselves a bit of confidence for the second half of the season.”
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