London Hearts Supporters Club

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John Robertson <-auth Duncan Smith auth-> Mike McCurry
[G O'Connor 8] ;[D Riordan 63]
13 of 020 Lee Miller 23 ;Andy Webster 88 L SPL A

Dressing room is right behind Robertson, insists Hartley


PAUL Hartley insists that under-pressure Hearts manager John Robertson has the full backing of the dressing room.

Hartley was a key figure in Saturday’s Edinburgh derby draw at Easter Road, having a hand in both his side’s goals. However, the 2-2 result all but ended Hearts’ hopes of a third-place finish and European qualification, an outcome which will only add to the uncertainty that has surrounded Robertson since Vladimir Romanov took control of the club earlier in the year.

Nevertheless, Hartley is adamant that Robertson is the man to take Hearts forward. He said: "There’s been a lot of talk about the manager’s future but the players are right behind him in the dressing room that’s for sure. Hopefully his future will get sorted out in the not too distant future."

The Scotland midfielder added: "It’s going to take time for the manager to install his ideas, it’s not going to happen overnight. But if he [Robertson] can stay beyond the season, sign his own players in the summer and re-sign some of the ones already here then I think the future is looking really good.

"The football we’ve been playing since the new manager came in has been exciting stuff and we’ve got some good young players coming through. Hopefully Mr Romanov will recognise what we’re trying to do and the manager will be here for another few years."

It was Hartley’s free-kick which led to Andy Webster heading home the equaliser in the 88th minute against Hibs and he was also instrumental in the move which saw Lee Miller cancel out Garry O’Connor’s early opener in the first half. It was the 11th goal of Miller’s loan spell from Bristol City, and Hartley called on the club to make the big striker’s stay in Edinburgh permanent.

"He’s been absolutely brilliant since he came here and I’m sure other clubs will be looking at his situation. That’s 11 goals in 19 games he’s got now and I just hope the club do all that they can to keep him. People said we would miss Mark de Vries but, because of what Lee has brought, that hasn’t been the case. Hopefully something can be sorted out."

In what was an intriguing midfield tussle on Saturday, Hibernian’s young central pairing of Scott Brown and Antonio Murray were impressive, more than holding their own against more experienced opponents like Hartley and Neil McFarlane.

Murray, whose career has been reinvigorated by Tony Mowbray after injuries stalled his progress at Ipswich, is relishing his chance at first-team action and believes Hibs can go on and seal their place in the UEFA Cup.

"It was a great game to be involved in," said the 20-year-old. "I’ve played in two derbies now and the atmosphere was awesome. It’s just a shame we couldn’t hang on for the win. But we’re still in the driving seat as far as third place goes.

"The second last game at home to Aberdeen could be the key one," he said. "If we win that one we should be in Europe. It’s good that it’s in our own hands."

Murray, born in Cambridge to an Italian mother and a father from Cumnock, is qualified to play for Scotland and, though his main priority is establishing himself at Hibs, said it would be a dream to pull on a dark blue shirt at some stage.

"I’d love to be called up. I’ve spoke to my dad about it and he said he would be really proud to see me play for Scotland. All my dad’s side of the family are Scottish so it would be great. But it’s up to the selectors, not me.

Taken from the Scotsman

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