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Keeper upbeat after Feyenoord loss


DEFIANT Hearts star Craig Gordon today insisted the Jambos can still qualify from their UEFA Cup group despite losing 3-0 to Feyenoord in Rotterdam.

A double from the impressive Dirk Kuijt and a Bart Goor strike sent Craig Levein’s side spinning to defeat in their opening Group A clash in the De Kuip last night.

The loss leaves the Gorgie outfit rooted to the foot of the table following the draw between Schalke and Basel in Germany but with three teams going through to the next phase, Scotland star Gordon is confident Hearts can still progress.

"There are still nine points to play for and we are not out of it by a long way," he said.

"We have two home games to play and winning the first one against Schalke will put us right back into it. We are still confident we can go through but we have to pick ourselves up after last night.

"There aren’t any bad teams in the group but if Feyenoord go on and win it there are still two other places up for grabs and we are determined to do our best to claim one of them."

While Hearts put everything into the clash against the Dutch giants, Ruud Gullit’s side were just too good.

Gordon, though, hopes that by mixing it with the cream of Europe, the Jambos can improve.

"The defeat was difficult to take but Feyenoord are an excellent side with some real quality players. "At this level you need to take even the half chances which come along and we didn’t manage to do that.

"It would have been interesting to see how they would have reacted if we had managed to nick a goal back at 2-0 down.

"It wasn’t the result we wanted but hopefully we will benefit from facing teams of this calibre. It was a really tough test for us and Andy Webster and Steven Pressley came off knowing they had been in a real hard game."

With the first derby of the season looming on Sunday at Tynecastle, Gordon and his team-mates will have to shake off last night’s disappointment as quickly as possible, something the keeper reckons won’t be a problem.

"We will pick ourselves up for the Hibs game without too many difficulties," he said.

"We came to Holland looking to do well but it wasn't to be. The big games are coming thick and fast for us, though, and with the fans behind us on Sunday, we will be ready for Hibs.

"It is another big test for us as they are on a good run and scoring lots of goals and we will need to subdue their young boys up front who are doing well at the moment.

"As far as our league position is concerned, we haven’t lost touch with teams above us by any manner and a couple of wins will take us right back up to the top end of the table where we belong."

Hearts’ arrival back into Edinburgh in the early hours of this morning was delayed by over an hour.

The Martinair charter had taxied out for takeoff only for the plane to return to the terminal as there was a discrepancy with the passenger list following a blunder at check-in.

The flight eventually took off when it should have been landing in the Capital, to the frustration of the players and officials.

Meanwhile, two other planes due to take Hearts fans back from Amsterdam were re-routed to Glasgow as they were deemed too big for the shortened runway currently in use at Edinburgh due to repairs being carried out to the main landing strip.

Taken from the Scotsman

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