London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2011-12--> All for 20110723
<-Page <-Team Sat 23 Jul 2011 Rangers 1 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth auth-> Calum Murray
[S Naismith 58]
18 of 019 David Obua 16L SPL A

Gary Mackay: An outstanding performance and something to savour

Published Date: 25 July 2011
By Gary Mackay
WHAT a superb way for Hearts to start the campaign.
To do so well at Ibrox on the opening day of the season when you make changes in the summer and then lose a key player like Lee Wallace two days before the first game, will do wonders for everyone at the club. The first half in particular was outstanding from Hearts.

It's very rare to go 2-0 up at Ibrox but if we could have just got that second goal when we were on top, it would have made all the difference.

David Templeton was unfortunate to see his chance saved by Allan McGregor and then David Obua, having scored a brilliant header, found himself with just McGregor to beat but went for the blast when maybe a wee dinked effort might have been better. I can testify from personal experience, though, that sometimes when you're in the heat of the battle at a place like Ibrox, composure is can be a hard quality to come by so I'm certainly not knocking David, who produced a much-improved performance.

Having said that, I'm reluctant to pick out individuals for praise after a result like that because it was the team ethic that shone through most prominently.

We had good performers all over the pitch, so the players will take massive amounts of confidence from the way they went about their business. Sometimes you can question yourself early in the season because people say you need games to get up to speed but Hearts have proved emphatically that they are well and truly ready for the season because you don't come away from Ibrox with a draw if you're not fully prepared. I thought they looked really sharp. The whole squad were right up for the battle and that's testament to their preparation.

The loss of Templeton was a big blow as he was our 'out-ball' and was able to turn the Rangers defence and get them on the back foot. He was very positive and it upset our rhythm slightly when he had to go off.

The other disappointment from the weekend was Andy Webster having to go off so early. You feel for the lad that he's having all this trouble with his injuries. We can only hope this latest problem is not too serious. It's not ideal for the manager either as he has to alter his plans, but sometimes when you lose key men it allows others to come to the fore, as we saw with Eggert Jonsson slotting in at centre-back and doing so well after Andy had gone off.

Injuries aside, it was a magnificent day for Hearts and now they are able to travel to Hungary for the European game against Paksi with no shortage of confidence. Even though the team did so well on Saturday, it may well be that the manager makes some unenforced changes for tactical reasons.

I read Colin Cameron talking in the Evening News a few weeks ago talking about the Red Star Belgrade game in 1997.

That night out in Belgrade was real backs-to-the-wall stuff, with everyone involved having to work their socks off to get a draw and it may be similar on Thursday night in Hungary. The temperature could be up in the 30s or 40s out there and we're playing against a team who have had a magnificent aggregate result against Tromso, so I think it will be all about work ethic in the away leg to ensure that there's still something to play for in the home leg.

In a tie like this, all you can ask is that you're still in a decent position when you get them back to Tynecastle. I would expect Jim Jefferies to go with some form of 4-5-1 formation with perhaps some of our flair players making way for our more combative players. I would think the likes of Ryan Stevenson and Adrian Mrowiec would come into contention.

In terms of our transfer activity, it's been a productive summer for Hearts. The management team had clearly done their homework and the fact we got the players signed early was beneficial in terms of preparation for the new season, as the new boys have had plenty time to bed in. We've lost Lee but Danny Grainger is a straight replacement, while John Sutton and Mehdi Taouil were also part of a very good team performance in their first competitive game for their new club.

Taken from the Scotsman

<-Page <-Team Sat 23 Jul 2011 Rangers 1 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |