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Stevenson responds to feelgood factor at Easter Road

It would be fair to say that Lewis Stevenson is not a prolific scorer.

Lewis Stevenson gets on the scoresheet
Lewis Stevenson gets on the scoresheet

You've probably got more chance of seeing Halley's Comet hurtling through the turnstiles of Easter Road than you have of witnessing a Stevenson goal.

In the grand traditions of rare occurrences, though, the good folk of Leith glimpsed such a phenomenon on Sunday as Stevenson found the net for just the third time in more than 200 appearances for the Edinburgh club. It was worth the wait; a superbly executed strike from the angle of the box that set a spectacular seal on a 3-0 victory over Kilmarnock.

"The gaffer said after the game that I've had more shots today than I have had in my whole career," said the 25-year-old with a smile.

The feelgood factor among the Hibernian players, generated by the arrival of the larger-than-life Terry Butcher, is clear for all to see and a renewed sense of optimism is building in the ranks. Stevenson is certainly enjoying the Butcher regime so far.

"We're being encouraged to be more positive," he said. "After all the shots I had in the game, I think maybe in the past I probably would have turned that last one down and maybe would have passed it. But I thought it was worth a go, and I managed to squeeze it in.

"I think I've been trying to play more positively. Before I was always a bit worried about giving the ball away, but we've been encouraged to be more positive, get the balls in the box and have more shots."

Stevenson and his team-mates now have old foes Hearts in their sights, with the latest Edinburgh derby taking place on Thursday.

Marooned at the foot of the table the beleaguered Tynecastle club appear ripe for the taking. Derby days can be funny affairs, of course. They may be on the bones of their backside financially, with a squad as thin as a Rich Tea biscuit, but Hearts have managed hard-earned 1-0 victories in two league and cup encounters this season.

"We're still gutted about the last time," added Stevenson. "We're going in with a good run of form but we know it's going to be tough."

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