London Hearts Supporters Club

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Striker warns of cup threat


HEARTS striker Edgaras Jankauskas insists that lifting the Scottish Cup this weekend would mean as much as his Champions League victory with Porto.

The Tynecastle frontman was part of Jose Mourinho's Porto side, albeit on the bench, that beat Monaco 3-0 in 2004 to lift Europe's premier trophy.

However he believes victory over Gretna at Hampden on Saturday would warrant similar celebrations as every trophy is as important as the last.

He said: "I have won a few league trophies, a few cups and the Champions League but any trophy counts and makes you happy, it stays in your memory, it is a big thing. To be in the final and not win the trophy is terrible. We all want to finish the season with that cup in our hands."

The Tynecastle side are odds-on favourites to reclaim the trophy for the first time in eight years against a side who have just been crowned Second Division champions.

Despite the gulf between the two sides though, previous experience means Jankauskas has warned his team-mates not to underestimate the Raydale Park side."

I would rather be playing a Premier League team than one from the Second Division because they will play the final like it is the last one in their lives.

"We have all respect for them and you have to have that respect because if you don't you can lose the game.

"When I played in Belgium with Bruges we had won the championship by 25 points and we went into the cup final against a weaker team, Genk, and we lost 4-0. It was a big embarrassment to end the season without a trophy everyone thought we would win."

Following a number of sell-outs at Tynecastle during this campaign, Hearts have increased the number of season tickets from 12,500 to 13,500 in anticipation of a greater demand from fans.

The extra tickets will initially be offered to existing season ticket holders before being released for public sale and prices range from £80 to £425. The club are also introducing an 'away season ticket' at a cost of £450.

A spokesperson said: "The supporters have been fantastic all season and we expect demand for season tickets to be higher than ever given the success of the team."

Meanwhile, midfielder Lee Johnson today stated his desire to remain at the club as he fears being dumped after just five games in Scotland.

Johnson was a £60,000 signing by Graham Rix in January from the comparative backwaters of English League Two club Yeovil Town, but since Rix's sacking he has played just once for Hearts.

That was in Sunday's meaningless final game of the league season at Ibrox, and he sees his appearance from the bench for the last half-hour as evidence that his future may be taken out of his control in the summer.

"Sunday's team wasn't the first 11, and I was on the bench so it doesn't look too good," admitted Johnson. "I don't know what the future holds. I'd love to know. I just want to play games and I want to do it for Hearts because I think the club is the best I've been involved in by a mile.

"This club has a lot of players and obviously I fancy myself to play a big part. I certainly believe I can, but sometimes it's out of your hands. You'd have to ask the people that matter what the problem is."

Johnson will seek clarification on his future but still has two years left on the contract he signed during January's transfer window.

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