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Pressure lifts off Levein as Hearts roar to derby win

Hibernian 1 Hearts 2

By Gavin McCafferty

Craig Levein insisted he relished the pressure situation he emerged from at Easter Road and hailed his players for handling the heat.

Levein was told he was getting sacked by all four sides of the stadium after Hibernian midfielder Stevie Mallan struck a spectacular opener two minutes into the second-half of an Edinburgh derby from which both teams were desperate for points.

Hearts had not troubled Hibs goalkeeper Chris Maxwell up until that point but they recorded a 2-1 victory thanks to goals in the final 20 minutes from striker Uche Ikpeazu and 17-year-old full-back Aaron Hickey.

"There's ways to win games and there's ways to win games by accumulating another thousand grey hairs," said Levein. "To go behind and come back to win a derby match away from home is special.

"I'm thrilled to bits for the players and of course for the supporters as well.

"I welcome the pressure in these matches. I know this game really, really well and I know what's needed to win it. But you need your players to be 100 per cent at it and I thought their attitude was fantastic. Particularly after we went behind.

"That will help us win back some of the supporters who have been a little bit disgruntled but we need to do much more. It's a start."

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