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Hearts boss John McGlynn lavishes praise on Rudi Skacel.. as he plots to stop him scoring another goal at Tynecastle

23 Dec 2012 00:01

SKACEL heads back to Tynecastle, scene of so many of his goals during two brilliant spells as a Hearts player, this afternoon with his new side Dundee United.

AS Hearts boss John McGlynn reels off the Scottish Cup heroes of 2006, it is a timely reminder of the halcyon days following Vladimir Romanov’s Tynecastle takeover in contrast to the present financial chaos at the club.

The likes of Roman Bednar, Takis Fyssas, Edgaras Jankauskas and Julien Brellier trip off the tongue as he recalls the star-studded squad assembled as wages and expectations went through the roof in the capital.

One name, however, stands out from the crowd – Rudi Skacel.

And this afternoon the midfielder will be back at Tynecastle ... wearing the tangerine of Dundee United.

McGlynn, who previously spent 10 years as a coach at Tynecastle, recalled “I had worked with the youth players at Hearts, then came through to work with the first team and when I saw Rudi it was truly amazing to see the power he hits the ball with.

“He always had a great recognition of where the ball was going to land. He has terrific anticipation and wants to get around the box and get efforts in on goal.

“He was the same in 2006, with Jankauskas and Bednar. He would be up there sniffing around the box and as soon as the ball dropped he would pounce. It was freakish how often he’d do that.

“He always had a special rapport with the fans. When he went over to take a corner he would wave his arms and get the fans geed up and they responded every time.

“There were a few big players at that time – Brellier, Bednar, Michal Pospisil, Fyssas, as well as the Scottish boys – Craig Gordon, Steven Pressley, Andy Webster and Paul Hartley, but the fans really took to Rudi.

“He is a gentleman too and I’m sure he came across well at any fans’ functions he attended or
whatever else. More than that, he scored goals – key goals.”

There is little doubt Hearts fans see Tynecastle as Skacel’s spiritual home.

Given his decision to use the number 51 at United as a homage to last season’s Scottish Cup Final triumph over Hibs, and his presence pulling pints at Edinburgh bar The Brauhaus to raise cash for the Jambos, it could be argued that the player also believes that.

However, with Hearts now under an indefinite transfer embargo, hopes of the 33-year-old Czech returning to Gorgie for a third spell appear to be fading – although McGlynn could see the financial benefits of such a deal.

The Hearts boss said: “When you talk about bringing back an iconic player to the club, whoever that may be, you look at the commercial side of things.

“When Gazza went to Rangers, when Beckham goes anywhere – even Melchester Rovers – he’s going to sell loads and loads of things. It could be like that here.

“We obviously tried to get Rudi at the start of the season and it didn’t happen. It’s difficult, we have a transfer embargo and don’t know whether that will be lifted.”

A win for Hearts today would see them leapfrog Dundee United as an incredibly close SPL continues to provide intrigue.

Taken from the Daily Record

And while the eyes of the stadium will be on Skacel, McGlynn is wary of other attacking threats.

He added: “It is not just about Rudi because Jon Daly can score goals as can Johnny Russell. If you put too much attention on Rudi then gaps will open up for others. That is the balance you need to have.”

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