London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 1996-97--> All for 19970315
<-Page <-Team Sat 15 Mar 1997 Hearts 1 Hibernian 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies <-auth Ken Gallacher auth-> Kenny Clark
1 of 001 Neil McCann 82 L Premier H

Rousset says stud marks prove that he is no cheat Hearts keeper shows sympathy for Hibs plight - despite the jeers

Ken Gallacher

17 Mar 1997

Hearts 1 Hibs 0

Hearts' French goalkeeper Gilles Rousset demonstrated astonishing tolerance following this Tynecastle victory over his club's city rivals Hibs.

Rousset, jeered for the last half hour of the game by the Easer Road fans after a penalty box flare-up with Hibs' striker Keith Wright, still found time to sympathise with the opposition's second bottom position in the premier division.

Firstly, though, he defended himself against the 'cheat' allegations which had been hurled at him after the Wright challenge which saw the Hibs' man booked in 61 minutes.

Rousset later showed stud marks on his thigh which he claimed he had received in the yellow card incident.

Then he pointed out: ''I thought it was a bad tackle and I think the marks prove that.

I am not a cheat.

These marks show I am not a cheat.

''I thought we played with great enthusiasm today and we deserved to win - but I do have sympathy for Hibs and the position they find themselves in.

''I know our supporters were chanting about Hibs going down but as players, we don't feel that way.

''Yes, we want to win against them but I want to see them playing in the premier division next season.

These are big games for us and we need Hibs for the derby games.

''I have great admiration for Jim Leighton, too, and I feel for him and his team right now.'' There is little doubt that Hibs have to face up to the fact that a play-off is looming.

They sit at joint second bottom with Motherwell, though the Fir Park team's superior goal difference edges them just in front.

However, their veteran mifielder Chic Charnley, who took reponsibility for the loss of possession which sparked off the move which brought the game's only goal, believes they can still escape.

He held his hands up and admitted: ''It was my fault for the goal.

I lost the ball and we were punished for that mistake.

''We all know that we are under pressure and it will be a big blow to be without Darren Jackson for the next two games when he is suspended.

''This means that we are having to look for other teams' results but I do believe we can still get out of this.'' His Manager Jim Duffy said:''There was incredible tension out there for the players.

I cannot fault their work-rate or their attitude but we did not really look as if we were going to threaten them much.

''We are just not scoring goals and that has been the problem which has been with us and which continues.

''For the remaining six games we must keep the same attitude as we showed today despite the result we had here.'' For Hearts, of course, the interest lies at the other end of the table.

They have ambitions to be in Europe and they recognise that if there is a Celtic-Dundee United Scottish Cup Final then there will be a UEFA place if they can confirm themselves in fourth position.

At the moment they are six points clear of Abedeen and want to stay there.

There may have to be an improvement on Saturday's form if they are to do so but the signs were there that winger Neil McCann is now striking a rich vein of form.

His manager Jim Jefferies felt that there were too many times when the man he bought from Dundee at a cut-price £200,000 did not get enough good crosses into the box.

Yet, for me, McCann was the man who created the best of Hearts' chances before scoring the goal which gave his team victory.

He did that with some style, too, stepping away from a despairing Pat McGinlay tackle in the penalty box before shooting past Jim Leighton.

It was only his sixth goal of the season but allied to the rst of his play it was enough to suggest to me that the Scotland manager Craig Brown should be looking at McCann for the coming game against Estonia.

He is a player who can go past defenders and carve our opening for others - as well as getting the odd goal himself - and he could be worth a gamble at Rugby Park.

Jefferies took time off from enjoing the derby vicotory to pay tribute to veteran Gary Mackay who left the club to join Airdrie 24 hours earlier.

Said Jefferies: ''We would have been happy if he had decided to stay on, but he had the chance of a two-year contract and thought it was the right thing for him to do at this stage of his career.

''I understand his reasons but there will always be a place for him here.

''It could be that in two years' time he will come back here in some capacity or another.

He will always be welcome at Tynecastle.'' Next fixtures: Hearts - Motherwell (a); Hibs - Aberdeen (h).

The abuse showered on Hearts giant French goalkeeper Gilles Rousset by the Hibs' fans behind his goal was unwarranted.

When Rousset reacted he did so because he believed the challenge from Keith Wright was unfair.

The referee agreed and Wright was booked and Rousset did not deserve to be castigated.

Talking Point

Taken from the Herald

<-Page <-Team Sat 15 Mar 1997 Hearts 1 Hibernian 0 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |