Daniel Stendel: Hearts boss says his side need 'fight' for Edinburgh derby win

Aaron Hickey's late strike won the last Edinburgh derby in September at Easter Road
Aaron Hickey's late strike won the last Edinburgh derby in September at Easter Road

Hearts need "fight in every part of the pitch" in Boxing Day's Edinburgh derby to turn their miserable form around, says manager Daniel Stendel.

Defeat by Hamilton Academical on Saturday left the Tynecastle club three points adrift at the foot of the table.

On Thursday they host rivals Hibernian in need of a result before the winter break.

"For us this is a big, big game and I expect we show it on Thursday," Stendel told BBC Scotland.

"I expect that we fight every time, even when some things have happened that are not what we want. The easiest way to show the game is important is that we fight, run, tackle and try to win every duel to get the fans on our side."

The home side has failed to win any of the last five Edinburgh derbies, with Hearts coming from behind to triumph 2-1 at Easter Road in September.

That is only one of two league victories this season for the Tynecastle club, who have lost all three games since Stendel replaced Craig Levein earlier this month.

Their last win came on 9 November, and the former Barnsley boss says they need to work harder to turn results around and improve morale around the club.

"It's not easy, especially for the players," Stendel added. "This is the worst moment for us all at this club that we dropped to the bottom of the table.

"But only we can change things, opinions and the atmosphere and hard work is the first way.

"I hope that we have a really, really good support. I can understand it's not easy for our fans after our last games. This is a special game for the club, the town and for us."

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