London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2010-11--> All for 20100821
<-Page <-Team Sat 21 Aug 2010 Hamilton Academical 0 Hearts 4 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth Barry Anderson auth-> Stephen Finnie
Palazuelos Ruben ----- Martin Joseph Canning
10 of 010 Calum Elliot 6 ;David Templeton 24 ;Kevin Kyle pen 75 ;Calum Elliot 81L SPL A

Jefferies watches Elliot come to the fore

Published Date: 23 August 2010
THE difference between a routine 2-0 Hearts win and this emphatic 4-0 mauling lay in the bullish tactics of Jim Jefferies. The visiting manager saw Ruben Palazuelos dismissed shortly after the hour with his side 2-0 ahead. Instead of merely consolidating, he remained bold and attack-minded. Consequently, Hamilton were left groaning with exasperation by full-time.
As Palazuelos walked for two bookable offences, David Templeton was immediately sacrificed for Adrian Mrowiec to solidify midfield. Then Suso made way for Kevin Kyle. Had the peerless Calum Elliot been withdrawn instead of the Spaniard in a like-for-like change, Hearts would have been expected to try to play out time. Jefferies wasn't entertaining that notion.

He shunted Elliot to left midfield and asked him to support Kyle in a 4-4-1 formation, a task he performed quite brilliantly. Elliot's run earned the penalty from which Kyle scored his first Hearts goal to make it 3-0, and then Elliot almost nonchalantly stroked the fourth into the net after dispossessing Hamilton's Kyle Wilkie. It was the revitalised Elliot who had opened the scoring in the first half with a wondrous left-footed shot before Templeton struck an equally impressive second from similar distance.

"Calum scored in a closed door game against Middesbrough before the season started," recalled Jefferies. "Then he scored against Dunfermline, then he got one last week and two this week. He was out through injury for a long time last year and if you're not at your sharpest then you're in the firing line.

"Apart from his goals I was delighted with his overall contribution. He's benefited from Kevin Kyle and Stephen Elliott coming in, although Stephen has now hurt his hamstring. We also have David Obua and Gary Glen to come back in. We've been a bit more positive than the team has been of late. To do that you need strikers in and around the box to get you goals."

Hearts look to be gathering momentum having opened the new SPL campaign with a 1-1 draw against St Johnstone. This was their biggest victory in almost four years and a vast contrast from their last visit to New Douglas Park, when four players and the team masseur were red carded amidst a post-match tunnel brawl.

For Hamilton, nothing has changed since their 4-0 drubbing at Pittodrie. They became architects of their own downfall for several reasons. Martin Canning's red card for impeding Elliot for the penalty was the result of a needless foul.

Defensively the hosts were incohesive and downright catastrophic at times, witness the spinning first-half backpass from Simon Mensing which prompted goalkeeper Tomas Cerny to dive full length into the fresh air only to miss the ball with his head.

Billy Reid, the Hamilton manager, will be aware that his squad is woefully short of reinforcements. His side are the SPL equivalent of Wigan at the moment after two successive 4-0 trouncings and four penalties conceded in the process. It is an ironic comparison when one remembers they are significantly weaker since losing two prize assets, James McCarthy and James McArthur, to the English Premier League's bottom club.

"It was comic-cut, embarrassing. Some of the individual mistakes were quite incredible," said Reid. "We go down to ten men then we get caught on the ball, Elliot goes through and we bring him down. Four penalties in two games, it can't happen at this level. I wouldn't disagree that we were a shambles.

"We've lost the nucleus of a team. If you look at (Trent) McLenahan, (Brian) Easton, (James) McArthur, (James) Weslowski, (Mickael) Antoine-Curier, then you miss (David) Elebert, (Alex) Neil, (Mark) McLaughlin, you're talking about a lot of a Hamilton Accies team that is not playing.

"But that still does not excuse how we defended. For the second goal, we haven't shut the ball down at all. The wee boy (Templeton) has had two bites of the cherry and smashed it into the top corner. In the second half, we dominated for a 15-20 minute spell. We had one that hit the bar (from Flavio Paixao) and we had two or three close things.

"We then went man for man and young Kyle Wilkie was caught in the middle of the park and they were through three for one. Absolutely crazy stuff. It just wasn't good enough. It falls at my door and we'll have to stand up and be counted in the next few weeks. But, if people make mistakes like that, there's not much I can do on the sidelines."

Jefferies does not have the same concerns. Indeed, while journeying back to Edinburgh on Saturday afternoon, he might well have pondered whether his side has even hit top gear yet. The SPL needs a strong Hearts and evidence of the opening two matches provides evidence that the Tynecastle side are indeed a far more dangerous proposition these days.

"We were a bit fortunate when they hit the bar in the second half but we had already scored two of the best goals I've seen. I didn't think we flowed as well as we did last week but it was a different game," said Jefferies, before revealing his dissatisfaction at Palazuelos' ordering off.

The manager had reiterated before this match that indiscipline would cost his players dearly.

Palazuelos incurred an eighth-minute booking for kicking the ball away and was issued a second yellow card for entering into a challenge with Flavio Paixao with his studs showing.

"I was ten yards away but how could you fine somebody for that because the tackle (on Flavio Paixao) wasn't over the top. If he did show studs it was to block the ball.

"It got away from him and he tried hard to keep it. I told the referee that. Where Ruben didn't help himself was by kicking the ball away and getting booked. We'll deal with that in house. I though the referee had to show comon sense. I didn't think it was a tackle worthy of a sending off. It was very harsh. The boy didn't get hurt, there was no crunching tackle."

One a more positive note, Kyle was elated to open his Hearts scoring account from the penalty spot. "When you go to a new club the pressure is on to get goals," he said. "I got a penalty and that gets the monkey off my back. I went to Calum to say well done for winning the penalty and he chucked me the ball. I was like 'oh my god'. I was quite confident of putting it away though.

"Craig Thomson wanted it but Calum came back and said 'give it to the big man'. I stepped up and put it high into the net but the boys were saying I nearly missed it. Now I want to get fit and get my match fitness back because even playing 20 or 25 minutes I just feel it. I've only trained for six or seven days since the end of last season and it's been hard. I'm pleased to get a goal and pleased for the team because 4-0 is an emphatic win. It's our biggest win in ten years away from home."

Kyle added that he is revelling in the expectation which goes with playing for Hearts, and praised Elliot for his contribution thus far. "Myself and Stephen Elliott were the so-called big signings and Calum was maybe thinking whether he was going to get a game this season. I really respect him for what he's done. Scoring goals as a striker gives you massive confidence. Running one on one at the fourth goal, he could have squared it to me and I'd have had a tap in, but he had the confidence to put it in the corner.

"I said to him afterwards 'isn't it better you've got me and Stephen pushing you because you don't want to be out of the team?' He is sticking to his task and none of us could argue if he keeps us out the team. You just wait your time and take your opportunity. I'm going to phone Stephen to say don't bother coming to training this week because he's not going to get a game.

"There is competition for places here and it's a far better pressure. If Hearts finish in the top six people are happy but we've got the potential to finish in the top three. Beyond that you never know. When we come up against Celtic and Rangers, why do we not take points off them? You need to beat teams you're expected to beat.

Slowly you can see a belief in the players now.

"I said when I signed that we could do anything, it's how quick the gaffer can get us settled and playing a formation that suits. He's made a few signings so everybody's trying to get in the team up front. Last year with Kilmarnock it was us on the back foot and being bombarded. Now I'm in a team bombarding other teams. Last week against St Johnstone we had ten or 12 crosses into their box - that didn't happen at Kilmarnock. I think I could be part of something here that could be quite good."

It is correct to deduce that Hearts are virtually unstoppable on Saturday's form. The key issue now would appear to be maintaining it.

Taken from the Scotsman

<-Page <-Team Sat 21 Aug 2010 Hamilton Academical 0 Hearts 4 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |