Manager Pat Fenlon was pleased to see Hibernian match Hearts in the first Edinburgh derby since last season's Scottish Cup final mauling.
"The message today is that from the cup final we have improved," Fenlon told BBC Scotland after the 1-1 draw.
"We were on top when we conceded the goal and maybe before we might have fallen asunder but we showed a lot of character to come back into it.
"I'm delighted for the players because we worked hard pre-season."
Andrew Driver shot Hearts ahead at Easter Road when he capitalised on a dreadful headed back-pass from Alan Maybury, the former Tynecastle full-back who was making his debut in green and white.
But Leigh Griffiths restored some local pride for Hibernian with an equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
"We let ourselves down last week," said Fenlon, referring to the opening 3-0 loss at Dundee United.
"But I thought today we were very good. We kept the ball better and got higher up the park.
"I said to the players 'that's what you're capable of doing' but you've got to work really hard every week to produce that.
Deegan made an impression on his debut for Hibs
"It's a start but we have to build on it and go and pick up some more points."
Griffiths rattled the woodwork before his goal and skewed a shot wide in the second half, while Ryan McGowan headed a great chance wide for Hearts after the interval.
"In terms of chances, I don't think they carved us open," added Fenlon.
"They caused us a few problems at set-pieces because they are a big side but in general play I thought we just shaded it."
Maybury's debut was marred by his costly gaffe but the 33-year-old Irishman recovered to turn in an otherwise solid display.
Discussing the mix-up between the left-back and goalkeeper Ben Williams, Fenlon said: "The good thing is that they are two experienced players and I thought Alan was fantastic after that and he dealt with the wide player really well.
"Maybe if a younger player had done it, it might have caused him a problem."
Gary Deegan was also making his first Hibs outing and the midfielder proved popular with the home support following some robust challenges.
"He gave us something that we've been missing," explained Fenlon. "He's got a bit of character about him.
"He got an early booking and I was a bit worried because he hasn't played a lot and I was hoping he wouldn't run out of steam and maybe leave in a tackle that's a little bit late.
"He did well to stay on the park, I suppose."
While Fenlon was satisfied by his team's application, he remains on the look out for new recruits.
"What I've asked from the squad is that we keep on improving," he continued.
"We're not going to change it completely over night but if we can add two or three more quality players it will make a massive difference.
"We're looking to do that whether it's permanent deals or loans.
"We're talking to players at the moment but, at this stage of the season with things yet to get going in England, clubs are reluctant to let players out.
"We need a striker. The two that came on today [Ross Caldwell and Danny Handling] are only kids. They are good players but they need experience around them."
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