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John Robertson <-auth Paul Kiddie auth-> Levan Paniashvili
[D Rosa 30]
11 of 025 ----- E H

Wilkins backs Jambos to see off Ferencvaros


FORMER England captain Ray Wilkins today backed Hearts for UEFA Cup glory against Ferencvaros, the midfield legend telling Jambos boss John Robertson: "Get after them and you can win."

Wilkins, assistant manager at Millwall, saw the Hungarians wreck his side’s European dreams when they dumped them out of the competition to qualify for the group stages.

Csaba Laszlo’s outfit was fortunate to escape from the first leg at The Den in September with a 1-1 draw but secured passage into Group A alongside Hearts, Feyenoord, Schalke and Basel with a 3-1 triumph in Budapest. Despite the Lions’ premature exit from their first involvement in European competition, Wilkins was left less than impressed by the opposition and is confident the Gorgie outfit can follow up their famous victory in Basel with another three points.

Whether that will be enough to see the Jambos march into the last 32 as Scotland’s sole representative hinges on a below-strength Feyenoord taking something from their game in Basel tonight. But Wilkins insists that with an aggressive approach, Hearts can emerge triumphant.

"We gave them a good pumping at Millwall and put them under a lot of pressure in the first leg but unfortunately they scored late on from a free-kick," he said.

"If Hearts get after them, then they have got a chance. They don’t like it when teams get after them and if they can play at a high tempo then Hearts have a real chance of beating them.

"Ferencvaros prefer time on the ball to do their own thing. They are technically gifted but a totally different team when you play them on their own soil.

"They don’t travel well and that should be to Hearts’ advantage."

He added: "We played Hearts in Vancouver during the pre-season so I know their players. They are doing okay at the moment and I am confident if they can get after the Hungarians they will have a successful evening.

"I wasn’t very impressed by too many of them and they are not a top-class side. The fact is they are having to raise their game when they face teams like Hearts in the UEFA Cup and I think Hearts can beat them."

Wilkins also warned Hearts against the Ferencvaros fall-guys.

He said: "They do dive around a bit to try to influence the referee but that is their culture and it’s all part of the challenge of playing in Europe.

"That is the way they are and I am sure Hearts will be prepared for it. I think Hearts will get the win they need, although they obviously require the result in Switzerland to go in their favour to make the last 32."

Taken from the Scotsman

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