London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Srce <-Type Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies <-auth James Traynor auth-> Louis Thow
1 of 001 Derek McWilliams og 10 ;John Millar 65 ;Hans Eskilsson 69 L Premier H

Bruno hobbles along to plug Hearts' defence


6 Nov 1995

Hearts 3, Partick Thistle 0

JIM Farry, the SFA's chief executive, who is proud of the progressive reputation his administration enjoy within the corridors of UEFA, says Scots should not press the panic button because of another miserable European experience.

Now, I don't know about you, but I'd rather be lauded within the corridors of power because of the forward-looking nature of our football rather than any abilities to write letters, and if Farry and his people had been at Tynecastle on Saturday, they might have discovered how poor our play has become.

Hearts, who had been struggling at the bottom of the premier division with only two wins from 10 matches, were desperate and they signed two more foreigners, Italian defender Pasquale Bruno and Hans Eskilsson, a Swedish front-line player.

With Frenchman Gilles Rouset in goal, Jim Jefferies' side looked sharper than at any other time this season.

They beat Partick Thistle comfortably, scoring three times, while a defence which had been leaking goals looked more commanding.

Thistle's scoring opportunites were restricted and, in fact, they contributed little to the afternoon.

Afterwards, Bruno, who had come to Gorgie for a look with the possibility of signing untill the end of the season just as Rousset did the night before the match, unwittingly provided a withering verdict on Scottish football.

The Italian, who has known highs with Torino and Juventus, said the most difficult problem he encountered on Saturday was with his boots.

"They were too tight," said the defender, who changed his footwear at half-time and continued to stroll through the remainder of the match.

"I like this football," he added.

With the Tynecastle faithful chanting his name even though he hadn't done much, he would like Scottish football, wouldn't he? Bruno, 33, and seeking one final challenge, said Juventus's Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Baggio, now of AC Milan, harbour desires to play in British football, but he has made it to these shores first.

However, it is doubtful if Hearts, who have persuaded him and Eskilsson to play three matches with a view to signing a longer deal, would have been able to take a look at him if his style of play had not made him something of an outlaw in Italy.

"I have a problem with the red cards," he said.

Bruno was suspended so often he should have had a parole officer, but Scottish football, he suspects, might just be his natural environment.

"Today was the maximum for me," he said.

"The fans were fantastic and chanted my name, while we also won the battle.

"In Italy, the players like to play the ball, while in Britain the fans like the battle and the ball is played longer.

Here, we have real football.

There is no diving and the trainer doesn't come on to the pitch too often."

Bruno, a bright, effervescent sort, would be good company if he didn't keep offering reminders of how out of touch our style of play is, but if his wife and two daughters like the thought of living in the Edinburgh area, Bruno "would rent a flat here tomorrow."

He has gone home to discuss the matter with his wife, but Jefferies and Hearts fans, who have suffered because so many key players -- McPherson, Levein, Frail, Thomas, Leitch, and Pointing -- are injured, want to see him back.

"Bruno is one of the best defenders I have seen," the manager said.

Jefferies also was pleased with the contributions of Rousset -- "He doesn't look as though he will lose many goals" -- and he was delighted with the work of Eskilsson when he ran on to replace Alan Lawrence in 59 minutes.

The Swede had scored Hearts' third goal within 10 minutes.

"He isn't the most technically gifted player in the world, but the big Swede certainly gives everybody a lift," Jefferies said.

Eskilsson, with his long, curly hair flowing behind, doesn't bother too much about subtlety and he seemed to scare Thistle's defenders, who were already having an unpleasant time.

Derek McWilliams scored an own goal after 10 minutes and it was downhill from then.

John Millar finished off a sweetly constructed goal involving Alan Johnston and Steve Fulton by heading in the second in 65 minutes, and Thistle were looking sorry for themselves.

Actually, they were a disgrace, and the last thing they needed was a huge Swede charging around in the latter stages of a match they just wanted to end.

Although the fans were busy welcoming Bruno, the best player on the pitch was Johnston, who was out on his own in the second half.

Johnston, 22 next month, was elusive and his exquisite touch sent balls through Thistle's defence.

He also appeared to be more aware than anyone of what was going on.

Taken from the Herald

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