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Butcher does not want to be left with a derby hangover after celebrations

IF the appointment of Terry Butcher as Hibernian manager was akin to pouring another shot of liquor into the already heady cocktail that is the Edinburgh derby, it is apposite there might still be a few sore heads around Easter Road when Hearts cross the city tomorrow for Butcher's first experience of the game.

Terry Butcher
Terry Butcher

The Englishman has enjoyed a fine start to his tenure, with comfortable victories over both Ross County and Kilmarnock in the past week, and can now cement that favourable early impression with a triumph over Hibs' city rivals. "With derby matches, there tends to be a bigger build-up," said Butcher, who can count the Old Firm, East Anglian and Highland versions amongst his experiences.

"We've had a lot of games recently but this one has always been on the horizon since I came in. It was 'win the Scottish Cup and beat Hearts'. It wasn't written into my contract - I checked - but I constantly get 'you must beat Hearts' from the fans and everyone else.

"But I have always relished derby games. The hype which surrounds them is so different and, if you get caught up in that, then you lose sight of what you need to do. With our boys, I've simply told them to play the way they want to and the way they can do. We've won our last two matches and we want to make it three in a row. After ending 2013 on a high we want to start 2014 on a high, too.

"It doesn't matter how you win as long as you win. I remember losing to Norwich and driving at 150 miles per hour to my home, but I didn't care because I hate losing. I don't like to lose to my fiercest rivals, it doesn't sit well with me."

Defeat would sit even less well given Hearts' current predicament. Despite their financial woes, the Tynecastle side are unbeaten in two derbies this term, with the last game between the two sides decided by a stunning Ryan Stevenson goal. The midfielder was barely fit enough to play that evening and the scenario will be similar tomorrow, with the 29-year-old making an earlier than expected return from injury.

"Ryan seems to like that wee hero act he's got going on," said captain Danny Wilson. "Last time we were at Easter Road he wasn't expected to play but he scored the winner and he had a great game. The same again would be terrific. He didn't train a lot last week but he got through against St Mirren and the boys were delighted to have him back because he is a big presence and a big character."

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