Nathaniel Atkinson insists it was vital Hearts found a way not to lose after the 1-1 draw against Hibernian at Tynecastle.

Emiliano Marcondes gave the visitors the lead before Lawrence Shankland brought Steven Naismith’s side level from the penalty spot.

The result means the hosts remain undefeated in their last eight Edinburgh derbies at home and Atkinson was keen to stress the importance of the hosts showing a reaction after their recent 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Rangers.

He said: “I think [the defeat at Ibrox] was a bit of a wake-up call. I don't think it was a confidence thing, being on such a great run recently.

“That's football, you are not going to win every game. You'd like to. No player wakes up and thinks 'I want to lose'. 

“It's one of those things. We've got another tough game on the weekend, we'll get the recovery and we'll get to that

“I think it was a classic derby, not much football being played so we were a bit disappointed in that. 

“We pride ourselves on being a footballing side, but I think we can all agree that wasn't our best performance. 

  “Getting the win late on at their home ground earlier on in the season and it was a good opportunity to come back after a poor performance last weekend as well to get back on the winning run.”

READ MORE: Lighter, AirPod & bottle opener hurled at Shankland in Hearts vs Hibs

Hearts are currently third in the Scottish Premiership, 12 points ahead of Kilmarnock in fourth and 21 points better off than Hibs as they look to secure a return to European football.

While Atkinson was disappointed the hosts did not find a way to win the fixture, he recognises the importance of taking something from the game and was happy with his side’s defensive performance.

“They got a goal early and they wanted to defend that,” he continued. 

“We started to gain a bit of confidence and get into the game. First half there was a bit more football played. 

“We got the penalty and the goal. The second half wasn't a great game if we are honest, you take the point.

“For me personally, it was just about getting through the game, I've been battling a bit of a flu the last week or so. 

“It's about doing a job for the team and doing your job, helping the team not to lose. You want to win games. 

“We are a team here, when someone is not playing well you get the other boys picking up.

“We defended the box well, they got in behind us a bit but it's just good not to lose.”

Shankland’s penalty, his 26th goal of the season, was marred in controversy after the 28-year-old was bombarded with items thrown by the visiting support before and after taking the spot-kick.

The Scotland international also appeared to catch and eat a pie that was thrown in his direction.

However, Atkinson was not surprised that the striker was able to keep his cool under pressure.

 “That's a derby, isn't it, you've got fans in the background wanting to chuck stuff on the pitch,” he added. 

“I don't look into it too much, it's a bit of a stupid thing, let's get on with the game. They are passionate fans, we don't agree with it, what can you do?

  “I think [Shankland] had a bite of a pie after he scored the goal. He came in at half-time and said it was a bit of a spicy one. 

“He's a world class player and nothing is going to put him off.”