What a way to break your duck

Stephen ElliottStephen Elliott is keen to open his Hearts goalscoring account and in Sunday's Edinburgh derby at Easter Road would be just the icing on the cake. The Dubliner has had a difficult start to life at Tynecastle, injuries limiting him to five substitute appearances since he moved to Edinburgh in the summer. And Elliott, who played 45 minutes of last weekend's 3-0 loss to Kilmarnock, is eager for his first start and his first goal for Hearts at Easter Road this weekend. He said: "If you score in a derby game, fans will always remember you for that. It would be great if I could score at the weekend - I'd really love that. It's a local derby and everyone wants to win them. It's a massive game for us and we're just going into the game looking for nothing else than a victory."

Elliott scored in the Tyne-Wear derby during his Sunderland days, was involved in the Black Country derby during his time with Wolves and played against Blackpool and Burnley while he was at Preston. He knows the importance of the capital clash for fans in the city, with manager Jim Jefferies, assistant boss Billy Brown and first-team coach Gary Locke among the Jambos reminding the players of their role in Sunday's game. He said: "I just can't wait for the game now. I've watched a couple of them before on TV and they've always been really good games to watch, great atmosphere. With it being a local derby, everyone wants to play in it. It's one of the fixtures you look for at the start of the season and I'm really looking forward to it. For players, we all know how much it means to everybody around the club and we just want to give our best in the game. The Sunderland-Newcastle derby was quite a big game, but I'm sure this is just as big."

Hibs have made an inauspicious start to the campaign which culminated in Colin Calderwood succeeding John Hughes as manager, but Hearts have had an up and down opening too. A 3-0 defeat at home to Killie last Sunday saw Hearts spurn the opportunity to climb to third place in the table. Elliott said: "It was just one of those games where we didn't get going. But we've got to forget about that game and look forward to the match on Sunday. We need to bounce back and there's no better time than the derby game."

Elliott looked bright coming on as a half-time replacement last Sunday and could be in contention to start against Hibs tomorrow. He said: "I had 45 minutes on Sunday and I feel a lot better for that. It's up to the manager what he does on Sunday, but I'm really looking forward and hopefully I can play some part in the game. Form goes out the window when it comes to derbies. You've got to be up for the game right from kick off, otherwise you might get caught. There's pressure on everybody going into the game."