Gary Mackay-Steven desperate for winning feeling in Derby

Hearts winger Gary Mackay-Steven is back in training after recovering from his broken hand and is relishing the prospect of being involved in back-to-back Edinburgh Derbies. Aaron Fraser reports. 

GMS is up for the derby double header. (Photo Credit – Ross Parker/SNS Group)

The next two weeks provide the opportunity to turn a good season into a memorable one. Already sitting pretty in third place, Hearts have the chance to consign Hibs to the bottom six and reach another Scottish Cup Final at the expense of their city rivals. 

One man who is itching to get involved is Gary Mackay-Steven. The flying winger has another kind of itch to contend with at the moment, he must play in a protective cast as he finishes recovering from a broken hand. Permanent metalwork is now inside Mackay-Steven’s hand, something he joked won’t make him very popular with airport security. 

A return to full contact training this week was welcomed by GMS as he was put through his paces by his teammates. When asked who was the first to test his cast out in training the 31-year-old named an obvious culprit for a meaty challenge: “Craig Halkett. We were shoulder to shoulder and he tested it quite well. You need to totally come through things like that because these are things that will come up, especially in derby games”. 

Despite the distance between the two clubs in the Premiership table, Mackay-Steven expects the match to be an intense affair: “When a derby comes, form goes out the window. We’ve been doing well in the league and Hibs have not done as well as they maybe would have liked, but come the game it will be tough, very tough.

“We just want to go and put in a good performance and hopefully that will get us the three points. “

Mackay-Steven is still waiting to sample an enthralling derby experience, as both encounters so far this season have been goalless draws. He admits that Hearts came off the pitch feeling disappointed in the prior clashes, but is excited at the possibility of that changing on Saturday: “It would be nice to experience scoring a goal, the crowd right behind us even more, and that winning feeling. Definitely, that’s the aim for Saturday.”

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