Jack Ross: Hibs fans can be a boost in ‘intense’ derby atmosphere

The Hibs boss wants his players to give the support plenty to shout about at Tynecastle.

Jack Ross: Hibs fans can be a boost in ‘intense’ derby atmosphere SNS Group

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross thinks a big visiting support can make a difference when he takes his team into the derby against Hearts at Tynecastle.

Sunday’s match will see 3100 Hibernian fans at the home of their rivals, marking the biggest away support in the league since crowds returned.

After two years without a derby, and with the sides level on points at the top of the Premiership table, the scene is set for a huge match in Edinburgh.

Ross believes the decision to have away fans in the grounds will enhance the occasion and can be of benefit to his team as they look for a massive result.

“It’s nice to have them there because it’s an intense environment to go into,” he told STV.

“Without our fans that would be even more challenging.

“And it’s refreshing to see that both clubs have taken that approach. We’ll reciprocate when Hearts come to Easter Road.

“It’s what makes the fixture and we’ve seen that in other derby games recently, and how it loses a little bit with the absence of visiting fans.

“To be there in such big numbers on Sunday really helps but we’ve got to give them something on the pitch that encourages them to be vocal throughout the game and that’s what we aim to do.”

One man who has had the Hibs faithful excited in recent weeks is Martin Boyle. The forward has scored in all four league matches and kept his form going with a goal for Australia in the international break.

Boyle was named as Premiership player of the month for August and will be looked upon as a key man if Hibs are to take three points.

“He’s a matchwinner for us,” Ross said. “I think you need to have them in your team.

“The more you have the better and they’re usually at that end of the pitch. I’m sure Robbie will point to the ones he has in his team.

“People will point to the reliance on these players but that’s the nature of the beast at all clubs and countries that you have these talisman, matchwinner type players. Martin, along with other, is that type for us.”

The strong start from both teams means that there’s even more at stake when they take to the pitch on Sunday, and Ross says the league positions just add to the drama.

He said: “I think in isolation the derby is a massive game at any point, but given the start that both teams have made, and where we find ourselves in the table, it changes a little bit.

“The incentive to go clear at the top with a win is huge. It adds that little bit extra.”

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