London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Wed 09 Aug 2006 Hearts 1 AEK Athens 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Daily Record ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Valdas Ivanauskas <-auth Alan Marshall auth-> Nicolai Vollquartz
Aguiar Bruno [P Kapetanos 88] ;[N Liberopoulos 93]
23 of 066 Saulius Mikoliunas 61 E H


By Alan Marshall

HEARTS keeper Craig Gordon insists tonight's Champions League qualifier against AEK Athens is the biggest game in the club's history.

The Tynecastle side defeated Siroki Brijeg 3-0 on aggregate in the previous round to set up a meeting with the Greeks which could be worth as much as £6million if they reach the lucrative group stages.

The Scotland star has played in some major games for club and country but despite the magnitude of the game at Murrayfield, he insists every player is relishing the challenge of qualifying for the group stages. Gordon said: "It has to be the biggest game of my club career.

"The money involved makes it a huge game for a club the size of Hearts.

"But the players are not nervous at the moment - everybody is in a good mood and looking forward to the game.

"We have to deal with the pressure. We are wanting to move on to the next level and this is part and parcel of that.

"I have played in big games before and it is good to be involved in them.

"It is exciting, it is not something I see as a burden.

"It is time to go out and show what you can do on the biggest possible stage against the best on the continent.

"We are going into it as underdogs because they are the seeded team.

"I do not think anyone is expecting us to win but we will give it our best shot and try to win the game."

Meanwhile, Hibs star Michael Stewart has urged his side to copy their Edinburgh rivals and go on an extended run in Europe.

The former Manchester United player will look across the capital as Hearts try to secure their place in the jackpot group stages of Europe's elite competition.

Hibs' interest in the Intertoto Cup ended prematurely and Stewart believes tonight's game will serve as a timely reminder of what the Easter Road players are missing out on.

He said: "Obviously due to the fact that the game is being played across the city means it's very close to home and you know what's going on.

"It's something I want to get back to playing in and I am sure the vast majority of the lads in the dressing room are thinking along the same lines.

"I have been happy with the way things have been going and there is a big challenge for me to get back playing the football that I know I am capable of."

Taken from the Daily Record

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