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Chris Cadden out to kick-start Lee Johnson era at Hibernian with derby win

Chris Cadden is relishing Sunday’s Edinburgh derby (Jane Barlow/PA)
Chris Cadden is relishing Sunday’s Edinburgh derby (Jane Barlow/PA)

Chris Cadden hopes Lee Johnson’s reign as Hibernian manager can catch fire with an Edinburgh derby victory over Hearts on Sunday.

The 25-year-old has loved working under the Englishman so far and reckons exciting times are ahead at Easter Road despite a shock Premier Sports Cup exit last month.

Cadden – who has just extended his contract until 2025 – feels a victory over Hearts would be the perfect way for Johnson’s new-look Hibees to signal their intent.

“We didn’t have the greatest of starts in the League Cup, but all in all I think it’s been good under the new manager,” he said. “He’s trying to get us a new style of play, drip-feeding us the way to play and everybody’s sort of settling and gelling together.

“We had a good win last weekend at St Johnstone but it will be massive for the group in general if we can get a result in the derby.

“The new manager’s been brilliant with me. My early impression is that I’m going to keep improving under him, which is huge for me and why I’ve committed my future here.

“He’s an experienced manager with a good knowledge of the game so I just want to learn as much as possible from him.”

Cadden explained that it was an easy decision to extend his contract as he has “loved” his time at Easter Road since joining from Columbus Crew in January 2021.

“There’s no place I’d rather be playing my football,” he said. “It feels like home to me now. I love being here.

“I’ve just sort of fallen in love with the place. To enjoy coming to your work every day is massive. Growing up I always wanted to play at a big club and feel that pressure. Obviously that comes with its downsides but the upsides outweigh that for me. I’m just loving being here.

“I’m 25 now, which isn’t that old. I’m probably still coming towards my peak. The squad here is young. We obviously have experienced boys like Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson but after that, I’m probably one of the older ones in this team.

“I probably need to step up and take more of a leadership role, but that’s something I’ll relish.”