Chris Cadden admits hearing the Hibernian fans signing for the first time helped him through his long-awaited comeback.
The former Motherwell player made his first appearance in five months during Sunday’s goalless Edinburgh derby at a sold-out Tynecastle.
Back and thigh injuries kept the 23-year-old out either side of the summer but he made an impressive return as Hibs and Hearts remained locked together on 11 points in the top three of the cinch Premiership.
Cadden told Hibs TV: “It was brilliant. These are the sort of big games I came to Hibs for, these derbies and big games, so I absolutely loved it. When the gaffer told me I was starting I was delighted.
“The atmosphere was brilliant and the travelling fans were unbelievable so I loved every minute of it.
“This was my first game playing in front of a Hibees crowd because the last time I played was Rangers away mid-pandemic and there was no-one there.
“So I went from zero to full capacity. They sang right through it and kept me going and fully concentrated.”
The January signing added: “I got a good 80-odd minutes in for the first time in five months.
“It’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes and hopefully I am reaping the benefits of that now.
“I worked hard with the sports scientists and physios running-wise. I am pretty naturally fit but it’s still a lot of hard work, staying behind and doing extra running.
“It’s been hard work but adrenaline gets you through. If you are not going to be up for a game like that, then you shouldn’t be playing football. Adrenaline played a massive part. I felt OK, just a bit tired towards the end.”
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