Brian McDermott insists the sense of ‘community and camaraderie’ he felt marching with the Hibernian support at the weekend has reaffirmed his reasons for joining the club.

McDermott, who was appointed as the club’s new director of football earlier this month, joined chief executive Ben Kensell and owner Ian Gordon in walking with the Hibs fans en masse to face Hearts at Tynecastle.

The ‘corteo’ with the so-called Hibs ultras and other supporters came before a chaotic Edinburgh derby that ended 1-1 and finished with an ugly melee involving players and staff of both teams.

McDermott, however, was blown away by the ‘sense of belonging’ on display before kick-off as he mingled with the Hibs diehards.

The former Reading and Leeds United manager said: “I was at the Hearts v Hibernian Football Club game at Tynecastle.

“I had the privilege of walking with our fans to the game with Ben Kensell and Ian Gordon.

“I have been in football a long time and have never experienced anything like it.

“The sense of community and camaraderie was tangible. I met an awful lot of the fans beforehand. The sense of belonging, I could really feel.

“For me, that is what football can bring and is what our national game is all about.

“To be able to be part of something that can bring that sense of purpose and belonging is why I’m here.”

The draw meant Hibs failed to leapfrog their rivals into fourth in the table after last Wednesday’s 4-2 victory over Celtic had raised hopes of a last-day triumph.

On LinkedIn, McDermott added: “I have seen how much work has gone in to [the] preparation led by the manager and staff. The processes have been spot on.

“The outcome was a win against Celtic and a draw. I can say, that no stone was left unturned. That is all you can do.

“Of course we all want to win. In football and in life. Sometimes the outcome isn’t what we would want. That’s how it is.

“The atmosphere in the ground was incredible, raw and real. Everything about football that is great in our part of the world.”