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Hearts have no chance in Rotterdam, says Advocaat


FORMER Rangers manager Dick Advocaat has written off Hearts’ chances of causing an upset against Feyenoord in their UEFA Cup Group A opener in Holland on Thursday.

The Tynecastle side travel to Rotterdam on the back of a deflating 3-0 defeat by Celtic at the weekend while Ruud Gullit’s men, 2-0 winners away at Roda JC on Sunday, are level on points with PSV at the top of the Dutch Eredivise.

Advocaat, who resigned as Holland’s national coach after this summer’s European Championship in Portugal, is certain that home advantage for the Dutch side on Thursday night will make all the difference.

He said: "I don’t think Hearts have a chance in Rotterdam. It might have been different if the game had been at Tynecastle but in Holland it will be very difficult for them.

"Feyenoord are a very balanced side with good players throughout and the fact that they are up at the top of the league in Holland says it all about them.

"Craig Levein is a good coach and he will know his players’ strengths and how to prepare them for the game. But Hearts lost 3-0 at Celtic on Saturday so it shows you the difference when they play away from home."

Levein will be pinning his hopes of causing a shock in Rotterdam on the shoulders of talismanic striker Mark de Vries, who scored two goals in the last round against Braga in Portugal to help Hearts through to the lucrative group stages of Europe’s second-tier competition. And the Dutchman will be keen to show his fellow countrymen just how good a player he has become since moving to Edinburgh two years ago from Dordrecht.

However, Advocaat claims the big striker has still to register with football fans back home in the Netherlands. He added: "I don’t know that much about him. I think I saw him once playing for Hearts against Rangers, although I can’t really remember much about it.

"I know that he is big and strong but he only played in the lower leagues in Holland and so not many people over here know about him. But I do hear that he is doing very well over in Scotland at the moment."

The former Ibrox manager, though, laughed off rumours he had compiled a dossier on the Gorgie side for his friend Gullit. He said: "It’s crazy for people to say I’ve been helping Gullit - it’s nonsense. He has his own team of scouts who will have told him all about his opponents, so why does he need me?"

Taken from the Scotsman

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