Hibernian vs Hearts: Lewis Stevenson and Christophe Berra issue Edinburgh derby rallying cries

Watch Hibs vs Hearts live on Sky Sports Football from 2.30pm on Sunday; Kick-off at 3pm

Lewis Stevenson in action for Hibs 1:22
Lewis Stevenson says the derby is the perfect stage for players to 'make a name for themselves'

Lewis Stevenson and Christophe Berra have issued Edinburgh derby rallying cries as Hibernian and Hearts prepare to clash for the first time this season.

After winning their Premiership opener, Hibs have taken just one point from their last four league games to tumble down the table, while Hearts sit bottom of the league with just two points from their first five games, causing the pressure to mount on boss Craig Levein.

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Long-serving full-back Stevenson, who has played in 40 Edinburgh derbies during his Hibs career, believes their players need to "step up" and knows the impact a victory in this fixture, which will be live on Sky Sports, can have.

"In recent years there has been a good buzz about the place and a positive mentality going into these games. It's obviously been a bit different recently," he said. "We want to right a few wrongs and there is no better way of doing that than winning the derby.

1:03
Hibernian fan Jamie Murray is looking forward to Sunday's showdown with Hearts

"We need to step up as players because from Monday to Friday we're doing everything right, we're working on everything, we've got our game plan. And when it comes to the game, it's not working and that's to do with us.

"So we need to step up now. We needed to step up five or six weeks ago but this is when you make your name as a Hibs player - in derbies - and hopefully this can kick-start our season. We need to be ruthless, with the ball and without the ball.

Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom applauds the fans at full time 0:14
Hibernian boss Paul Heckingbottom says he expects his side to overcome Hearts

"If that's steaming into a tackle then so be it, if that's being clinical in front of goal or a block in your own penalty box - these are the small margins that can win games and we need to be ruthless on the day."

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He added: "If you can get your head right in these games then the rest takes care of itself. I don't think anyone's going to blow anyone away, it's going to be tight, probably one or two goals in it. You need to stay in the game. I don't care how badly we play as long as we get a win on Sunday."

Berra: We should be doing a lot better

 Christophe Berra of Hearts 0:40
Hearts skipper Christophe Berra understands fans' frustrations and says the players need to turn things around

Hearts captain Berra says the players have been letting everyone at the club down and has set his sights on securing a vital victory on Sunday.

"The stats don't lie, we've not been winning enough," the 34-year-old defender said. "On paper we have got a good squad, we have got good individuals and we should be doing a lot better. I'm not going to lie about that, I'm not daft.

"We know we've been letting ourselves down, the club down and the fans down. We've all got our own pride and we want to do well. And it's about standing up, being counted, getting through this tough period and getting that first victory."

He added: "One victory is not going to be enough, we need to get one victory and build from that and get more victories and eventually start doing it in a good manner that the fans are happy with. Adrenaline will be high and we'll be up for this game. We're always up for games but this one's live on television, away to your biggest rivals.

1:12
Craig Levein says the expectation levels on his team for Sunday's derby against Hibernian are different

"Playing at Easter Road, it's always good playing there. It's going to be a great atmosphere - I don't know what kind of atmosphere it's going to be because it's been well-documented that both managers have been getting a bit of stick. But it's a good game to have as long as you come out on the winning side.

"It's always a tough place to go to and it's about us applying our game plan and starting on the front foot and making sure that we make the home fans turn against them and make it a difficult atmosphere for them."

How to watch Hibernian vs Hearts

Hibernian host Hearts in the first Edinburgh derby of the season this Sunday and you can watch all the action live on Sky Sports.

Join us live from Easter Road at 2.30pm on Sky Sports Football or follow our dedicated match blog online. Kick-off is at 3pm.

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