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

McAllister hopes luck will play Swiss role


HEARTS star Jamie McAllister thinks it’s about time Lady Luck shone on the Jambos’ UEFA Cup campaign, as they take on Basel tonight in what is a make-or-break game.

Having seen fate conspire against the Gorgie outfit in the Group A clashes against Feyenoord and Schalke, the former Livingston and Aberdeen defender reckons the players deserve a rub of the green in the Stadion St Jakob.

Hearts crashed 3-0 to Ruud Gullit’s Dutch giants in the opening match of the inaugural group phase in Rotterdam, although the outcome could well have been different but for two howling offside decisions which saw the hosts take the lead with a highly dubious strike and Kevin McKenna denied a perfectly good equaliser in the first half.

Woeful refereeing from Russian Nikolai Ivanov was then the talking point after Schalke marched out of Murrayfield earlier this month with a 1-0 win over ten-man Hearts, Patrick Kisnorbo having been sent off for diving.

Now, as the Tynecastle outfit prepare to take on Swiss league leaders Basel in a match where failure to win would all but end their hopes of progressing to the last 32 of the competition, McAllister is keeping his fingers crossed that on this occasion fortune will favour John Robertson’s side.

"I think the previous two games shows what a fine line there is between success and failure at the top level," said the 26-year-old, who looks set to play after recovering from a heavy cold and a slight knee injury.

"Although Feyenoord were a class above us, two dreadful decisions cost us the chance of creating an upset.

"The referee was also very poor against Schalke so hopefully with better officials and a rub of the green tonight we can come away with a good result."

He added: "It is time we put some points on the board to give us a chance of going through. We have the players to do it, although Basel are a top team.

"They have a lot of quality and are comfortable on the ball but we are a good side as well and have two games left to force our way into the top three in the group.

"I think we could still do it with a point from this evening’s game but three points would be ideal and that is what we are aiming for."

Taken from the Scotsman

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