Hearts v Hibs: John McGinn expects 'completely different' game to last derby

John McGinn
John McGinn was on the winning side the last time Hibs and Hearts met
Scottish Premiership: Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian
Venue: Tynecastle Date: Wednesday, 27 December Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Hibernian's John McGinn says there has been a "massive improvement" in Hearts and believes Wednesday's meeting will differ starkly from their last meeting.

Midfielder McGinn was on the winning side as Hibs won a one-sided Edinburgh derby encounter 1-0 in October.

"Anyone that was at the derby, the last one, it was probably the biggest gulf between the two teams in any one that I've been involved in," said McGinn.

"Everyone in here knows that it's a completely different game."

That victory at Easter Road put Hibs above Hearts in the Scottish Premiership table and Neil Lennon's side were 10 points above their city rivals in November.

However, in recent weeks Craig Levein's Hearts have reduced that gap to five points.

"They've managed to get a settled team, a settled 14, 15 players that all know their jobs and we certainly won't get as easy a ride as what we did that night so we're not taking anything for granted," McGinn said.

"We know we have to be at our best to try and get anything at Tynecastle. Even though we've had a lot of good results in the derbies in the past, we've not won at Tynecastle in the past few games so it's something we want to make right and we know it's going to be a tough night."

John McGinn and Scott Brown
John McGinn says he tries to "emulate" Celtic captain Scott Brown

Hibs have drawn on their last three visits to Tynecastle - twice in the Scottish Cup in the last two seasons before winning replays at Easter Road - in a run of eight unbeaten derbies since their last defeat at Tynecastle in August 2014.

But Hearts' recent run of six unbeaten games at home was capped by their stunning 4-0 win over Celtic, inflicting the Scottish champions' first domestic defeat in 19 months.

"I didn't see it coming but fair play to them, they had a game plan and it worked on the day," McGinn said.

"No-one could argue, 4-0. It just shows you how far they've come in a small space of time."

'I'm not better than Brown, just different'

Hibs had come close to beating Celtic a week earlier in their 2-2 draw with Brendan Rodgers' side, after which McGinn and Celtic captain Scott Brown's performances were the subject of much debate between the two managers.

"He's someone I try and emulate as much as I can but at the same time I like to think I've got other attributes to my game, which makes me different - I'm not saying better, just different," McGinn said.

"When I first went into the Scotland set-up, he kind of took me under his wing, him and a few of the other older boys. Even though I might try and get close to him, upset his rhythm, he's someone that I massively respect.

"You see everyone every week trying to get the better of him. A lot of people don't succeed and that's why he's at the top of his game.

"On the park, he doesn't talk to you. He just tries to get you booked and get you wound up but after the game finished, like the other week, we had a laugh and a joke about the tackles and he's always there for advice when I need him and I'll be grateful for that all the time."

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