London Hearts Supporters Club

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Smith takes heed of warning from the east


21 Jan 1995

THE revival of Hearts in the past few weeks has provided Rangers manager Walter Smith, whose team welcome the Edinburgh side to Ibrox today, with the evidence to demonstrate what he has been saying for some time, that it is possible to bridge his side's 14-point lead in the championship.

Hearts' run has taken them into a challenging position.

Smith observed: "It is a warning for us and shows that we need to keep an edge on our play."

Smith, who has refused an offer from Holland to add Feyenoord striker Johan van Loen to his staff, will have Basile Boli back but David Robertson is suspended.

"After the good result against Falkirk, despite the disruption by injuries, we are now facing one of the form teams in the league.

They will be confident of keeping it going."

He probably will stick by last week's experimental front line, with Ian Ferguson and Charlie Miller joined by Brian Laudrup, back after two games out because of international duty.

Trevor Steven is in the squad, too.

Hearts manager Tommy McLean said: "There are still financial restrictions, despite the sale of Alan McLaren and Tosh McKinlay, but the fans seem to appreciate that it will be a slow process."

Neil Berry is out and Craig Levein faces a late fitness test on a slight hamstring injury.

Celtic's flu list has been cleared but a new name has been chalked up, Charlie Nicholas.

Also out is suspended Tony Mowbray but Brian O'Neil and Peter Grant will be back for the visit to Partick Thistle, whose Rod McDonald is back after suspension.

Manager Tommy Burns said: "We know what to expect from Thistle, who have a good team spirit and will battle for everything." Burns, who was pleased with last week's new partnership of Willie Falconer and Pierre van Hooydonk, is set to let winger Paul Byrne go to Watford for a week's trial.

Celtic are to cut prices for the Scottish Cup tie against St Mirren at Hampden on January 28.

Fans who buy in advance can save £1 on £11 tickets and £2 on £15 tickets.

Aberdeen manager Willie Miller, who has eight players reaching the end of their contracts this summer, insisted yesterday that there would be no mass exodus.

He said: "Talks are on-going.

These have gone well and will continue throughout the rest of the season.

"The most important priority is to get players who want to play for Aberdeen."

The eight are: Duncan Shearer, Scott Booth, Brian Irvine, Stephen Wright, Paul Kane, Stephen Glass, Michael Watt, and Scott Thomson.

Not on that list is Joe Miller, who still has a transfer request on the manager's table, but he has decided to put that out of his mind and help the team to chase a UEFA Cup spot.

Aberdeen will have Ray McKinnon back for the visit to Hibs, who have both Gordon Hunter and Michael O'Neill doubtful.

Kilmarnock are without suspended defenders Neil Whitworth and Derek Anderson and also have a doubt about John Henry, who has a cold.

In the squad to meet Falkirk are Mark Skilling and Ray Montgomerie.

Falkirk have been trying to seal a £150,000 deal to sign David Winnie from Aberdeen in time to have the defender in their side today.

While the board ponder Raith Rovers' bid of more than £100,000 for him, Dundee United include unsettled midfield man Jim McInally for the home game against Motherwell.

Mark Perry is added to the pool.

United were further boosted when they signed 25-year-old Brazilian striker Sergio in a £300,000 deal with Portuguese side Amora.

He goes straight in against 'Well, who are on a downer after four games without a win.

Taken from the Herald

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