‘Chasers’ jibe hard to take for Handling
Buaben comments will fire up Hibs
IT IS an established tradition in football to suggest that any public jibe from the opposition will be ‘pinned up in the dressing room’, providing an added layer of motivation as slighted players seek retribution for those errant words.
It may seem like an old-fashioned concept, but Danny Handling has explained that the practice is still alive and well at Hibernian, with an impudent Facebook message from Hearts midfielder Prince Buaben currently on display at their East Lothian training centre ahead of tomorrow’s Edinburgh derby.
Buaben’s offending communique, which was targeted at his own supporters but undoubtedly had a withering edge, came after a recent 1-0 win at Alloa Athletic, on the same day Hibs had stumbled to a 0-0 stalemate against Dumbarton.
It read: “Happy with the win even [though] we didn’t play the way we can. We got 3 points and that’s the difference between us and the other chaser #myteamstrong Enjoy your weekend #jambos.”
Handling candidly acknowledged that “we don’t appreciate” the “dig at Hibs”, while suggesting he will take great delight in proving “the other chaser” can make up ground at Easter Road.
In a fixture which is traditionally not short on flashpoints, Handling’s words add an additional spice to a fascinating derby date as
It is no surprise that the Tynecastle side, unbeaten away from home and six points clear at the top of the table, start favourites to extend their advantage over their capital rivals to 17 points. Danny Wilson is poised to return to captain Hearts but Dale Carrick is definitely out while James Keatings is a doubt. Last season 2-1, 1-2 (in top flight) Prediction Away win Hibs aim to close the 14-point gap between the sides.
“We saw a comment from Prince Buaben on his Facebook. He said he’s getting bored of these ‘chasers’, so it would be nice to shut him up,” said the 20-year-old. “He was having a wee joke with the fans but sometimes you get annoyed with what people say.
“The skipper [Liam Craig] put it up on a sheet at the training ground so all the lads have seen it. We want to prove him wrong because he’s having a dig at Hibs and we don’t appreciate that.
“You get on with life, but we’re striving to beat Hearts and put him right. It’s banter between the two sets of players, but it does make you want to beat them even more.
Despite the chasm between the rivals in the SPFL Championship standings, Handling insists there is no inferiority complex at Easter Road, and retains a belief that Hibs possess one of the best squads in the country, let alone the capital.
“There is a gap between ourselves and Hearts but there’s a lot of football to be played,” continued the Scotland under-21 internationalist.
“We have a great squad, we have real talent and players want to play for this club. On paper we have one