DRIVER: VICTORY THE ONLY OPTION
Andrew Driver has first-hand knowledge of the mood among Hearts fans and has concluded that losing Saturday's William Hill Scottish Cup final against rivals Hibernian is "not an option".
The two capital clubs meet at Hampden in the final of the national cup competition for the first time since 1896 and excitement is building by the day.
Driver spent Monday night analysing the possibilities that the showpiece will offer with his Jambos-supporting friend and echoed the thoughts of many fans of both clubs by admitting that excitement is matched by the "terrifying" prospect of losing the biggest Edinburgh derby of all time.
"It hit home on Monday when my mate Fathead, a Hearts fan, came round to my place and we sat up talking about it for hours, about all the pros and cons of the game and it was quite funny," said the 24-year-old winger.
"It is terrifying but exciting at the same time.
"Conclusion? Don't lose. Losing is just not an option, whatsoever. Winning the game is the only option.
"We have to look at it professionally as we do for any other game.
"You can't get caught up in all the hype.
"We know Hibs, we know how they play, and we need to see what the manager does this week, in terms of what we will do on Saturday.
"I have experienced winning at Hampden against Celtic and have experienced losing there against Rangers and obviously winning is a lot better.
"It is a good place to be when you have the ball.
"The Celtic game was hard at times because we were under pressure in the first half but in the second half when we started to get the ball it was more enjoyable."
Ryan McGowan is another Hearts player who has the fans on his mind this week as he looks forward to winning his first medal since he was a 16-year-old in Australia.
The 22-year-old full-back joked that he will stay out of Edinburgh and away from his Hibs-supporting friends if the trophy returns to Leith for the first time in 110 years.
"It's the worst case scenario, obviously, but I will be looking to get right away from Edinburgh if the result doesn't go our way," said the 22-year-old Australian.
"But if you look at it the other way, it will probably be the best place to be if you get the right result.
"I have a couple of mates who were obviously dropped when they were kids and support Hibs but that's what's makes the capital derby, it is more about the banter and we can go for a drink after the game and tease each other about it.
"But I won't be hoping to get texts from them, that's for sure.
"Both sets of fans will be excited about it.
"I might not play in a game as big as this again in my career, so I am definitely looking forward to it
"This is my first full season in the first team so it would be great for us to win the cup."
The Tynecastle men are firm favourites but McGowan said: "It's a derby so, as the old cliches go, form goes out the window and recent results go out the window.
"It will be whoever handles the occasion the best and we are hoping that will be us and we get the win."
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