London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sat 23 Apr 2005 Hibernian 2 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
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John Robertson <-auth None auth-> Mike McCurry
[G O'Connor 8] ;[D Riordan 63]
5 of 020 Lee Miller 23 ;Andy Webster 88 L SPL A

Game of patience

HEARTS manager John Robertson has today pleaded with the Tynecastle support to show patience with the club’s emerging young talent.

After a string of dejecting results since the delirious 2-0 victory over Celtic in Glasgow at the start of the month, Robertson is concerned that any criticism from the stands may affect his kids. Hearts have leaned heavily on 17-year-old full-backs Lee Wallace and Jason Thomson in past weeks, added to the youthful enthusiasm of striker Lee Miller, 21, and the recent return of 20-year-old Lithuanian Saulius Mikoliunas.

With the remainder of the season hinging on whether Hearts can secure third place and a European place, Robertson is mindful of the pressures that are mounting on his youngsters. "There is always expectation there from the fans," he said. "Hearts finishing third in the past two seasons brings the same level of expectation for the following season.

"You guys [media] keep telling us how young a side Hibs have, for example, but in the last derby at Tynecastle we’ve been told that our team was overall 20 years younger than theirs. I think people would have lost money on that.

"It doesn’t matter what age you are. If you’re good enough, you play and you have to go and perform. That’s what we ask our players to do no matter their age.

"You’ve seen the emergence of young Lee Wallace, who has been fantastic for us. Young Jason has come in and had a couple of games and looked assured.

"Also, people forget that Lee Miller is only 21 and Andy Webster and Craig Gordon are only 22. We’ve known for a while how young our squad is but Hibs have been given all the plaudits for what they say is a young side.

"They are a wee bit more experienced than people think."

The references to Hibs betray the feeling that Robertson considers his side worthy of more praise than they have received thus far.

However, he pointed out that results must first assume an upward curve before any critics will be convinced. Robertson said: "It has been a frustrating period for us lately because we played quite well against Celtic in the semi-final but lost 2-1, then we dominated most of the derby but Hibs punished us.

"We dominated against Dundee United but lost that one as well. It’s a fine line between winning and losing in football.

"Teams like Hibs and Aberdeen have been fortunate because they were in the bottom six last year," Robertson went on. "They have had a lot of praise and rightly so, but both teams have probably far exceeded the expectations of their fans."

Despite the recent disappointments Robertson was keen to point out this season’s accomplishments.

He continued: "Everyone is aware of the expectations we have here at Hearts. Our fans demand that we finish third in the Premierleague and do well in the cups. On that score, we’ve been to two cup semi-finals and played in the group stages of the UEFA Cup, so all in all I don’t think it’s been too bad a season."

Taken from the Scotsman

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