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Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth Richard Wilson auth-> Calum Murray
8 of 012 Rudi Skacel 2 ;Rudi Skacel 24 ;Rudi Skacel 92L SPL H

McGowan left frustrated as Skacel provides killer touch

Richard Wilson

25 Oct 2010

It was despondency that the St Mirren players carried off the Tynecastle pitch, a heavy feeling of wretchedness.

They had succumbed to a Hearts team that was resolute and burly, even if the killing strikes came from the deft technique of Rudi Skacel.

Three crisp finishes delivered the midfielder’s hat trick, and he was elated with the final effort as it came at the Gorgie Road end of Tynecastle, a goal he had never scored into during his two spells at Hearts.

St Mirren fell behind after 72 seconds, lost another before half-time, then dug in just to stop the result running away from them.

Hearts were big and forceful, and for too long the visitors never looked capable of resisting them.

“Same story, different week,” sighed Paul McGowan, the St Mirren striker. “I just don’t know what to do, it’s frustrating. We work hard, working on keeping the ball, but we can’t get a pass together. We’re relying on hoofing it up and we need to get our foot on the ball.”

Danny Lennon, the St Mirren manager, moved players around at half-time and urged them to keep striving, but the worry now is that they become detached at the foot of the table.

“It hurts every one of us,” McGowan added. “We’ve had words about what we need to do. The fans, rightly so, are getting angry, because every time we’re going an easy goal down. It’s the story of our season so far. We need to stop giving teams a head start. Nobody wants a relegation on their cv.”

Skacel’s opening goal was a strike from 20 yards after Kevin Kyle laid the ball off. His second was a free-kick from a similar distance, the third a right-foot effort from just inside the area.

Under George Burley, Skacel was the buoyant spirit of a team that overwhelmed so many of their opponents. The midfielder is older now, but still capable of moments of ingenuity, and his strikes illuminated this performance.

Having played for the Czech Republic last season, Skacel is hopeful that rejuvenation at Tynecastle will lead to a recall.

“If I play good football, it will help Hearts and hopefully Hearts will help me get back into the national team,” he said. I don’t compare [this Hearts side with Burley’s], it’s a different team. If I remember correctly, we use to start like this. While they are warming up, we try to score goals.”

Burley’s team used to begin matches aggressively, and often established a dominance that could not then be broken. Jim Jefferies’ side has different qualities, but Kevin Kyle is a hefty figure up front and Marius Zaliukas brings strength and wit to the defence.

Taken from the Herald

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