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John Robertson <-auth Paul Kiddie auth-> Kristinn Jakobsson
[C Carignano 76]
2 of 018 Dennis Wyness 31 ;Robbie Neilson 89 E A

Robertson wary of the task that lies ahead


HEARTS boss John Robertson today warned his players to ignore Basel’s recent domestic form as the Jambos prepare to go head to head with the Swiss cracks in the UEFA Cup in Switzerland.

The pressure has been mounting on Christian Gross’ side which is currently in the midst of a mini-crisis having lost two successive games for the first time in two years.

And the pressure increased at the weekend after the Swiss Cup defeat to underdogs FC Thun which followed hard on the heels of a shock reversal in the league to struggling Schaffhausen.

Robertson, though, has not been deceived by those results, the Gorgie chief acknowledging a tough test awaits his side in the Stadion St Jakob Park this evening.

Basel won the Swiss league by 13 points last season and have already stormed to the top of the table, facts which Robertson insist serve as ample warning of the challenge which lies ahead.

"I don’t think they had their best team out for the cup game and left one or two players out," he said.

"We know their dangers, what they are capable of and what they are good at.

"They won the league last year by a mile and are top again so that shows their quality."

The Hearts boss has insisted he will send his players out this evening under orders to put pressure on their hosts and has vowed to field an attacking formation.

"Basel have beaten both Celtic and Liverpool in the Champions League recently but we have got to be positive tonight and force our own game on them," he said.

"It is imperative that we keep the ball and get at them when they have it and you’ll see by our formation that we will have a go when we have the ball.

"But we also have to be sensible enough to defend well as European teams are always good at counter-attacking and we must be wary of that.

"They have good players all over the park. We will have to be patient when we have the ball and when we get forward into good positions score some goals."

Taken from the Scotsman

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