London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
John Robertson <-auth Paul Kiddie auth-> Levan Paniashvili
[D Rosa 30]
8 of 025 ----- E H

Pressley is anxious to avoid blue Christmas


ELVIS takes to the stage at Murrayfield tonight with no intention of singing the blues.

Hearts captain Steven Pressley leads his men into battle against Ferencvaros in the UEFA Cup Group A crunch tie fervently hoping for another glorious evening in the Jambos’ European history.

The Gorgie outfit know they must defeat the Hungarian champions and hope the result in the match between Basel and Feyenoord in Switzerland goes their way - anything other than a win for the hosts in the Stadion St Jakob Park would suffice.

Progress to the last 32 of the competition is the carrot for John Robertson’s side and Pressley said: "If we can produce the kind of performance we did against Braga at Murrayfield and for long periods against Schalke then I believe we can win the game.

"For us to make the last 32 would be a fantastic achievement for the club.

"When the group stages were drawn we were not satisfied at just being there to make up the numbers.

"We were determined to go through and if we don’t progress to the next phase, we won’t be looking back and saying ‘that was great’ - we will be bitterly disappointed. We have a lot of good lads in the dressing-room determined to progress and further their careers and there is no better opportunity to do that than playing European football.

"I don’t want to be involved in another hard luck story and that’s what it would be if we were to gain six points and go out."

Pressley would probably rather forget what happened the last time he faced Hungarian opposition, Scotland crashing 3-0 to the Magyars at Hampden in a friendly earlier this year.

Szabolcs Huszti proved the scourge of the Scots that August night with two goals - his brace completed by a stunning long-range effort past David Marshall.

The Hearts skipper insists the class the visitors showed on that occasion underlines the quality which will be on show in the Capital tonight - and he warned fans expecting an easy night’s work to banish such thoughts from their minds.

"It would be a great night if we could progress and that is what we’re all hoping for," he said.

"In past years the Hungarians were always regarded as a force in international football.

"They had a period where they appeared to be in the wilderness but are now on the way back and will be a very dangerous opponent. They have Huszti, who is a quality player and, as we saw when he played against Scotland at Hampden, someone we will have to guard against.

"The most important thing for us, though, is that we concentrate on doing what we are good at and hopefully that will be good enough if the result in Basel goes the way we want it to."

Robbo and his players sat through an extensive video analysis of Ferencvaros at Riccarton yesterday as the squad completed its painstaking preparations for the must-win encounter.

And Pressley has been left in doubt over the challenge facing the Tynecastle side.

He said: "We watched some video footage of them yesterday at the academy and the impression we have been left with is that they are a very good side.

"They like to get the ball down and pass it and we will have to be very careful during the whole 90 minutes.

"I think there are a lot of people out there thinking a Hearts win tonight is a foregone conclusion and we will just have to hope the result in Switzerland is what we want.

"But looking at their quality - they were very unlucky not to take anything from the game away to Schalke even though they lost the match 2-0 - that is definitely not going to be the case.

"They are technically very good and attack-minded in their play. We are well aware of the task ahead of us but are very determined to win the match."

Taken from the Scotsman

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