London Hearts Supporters Club

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13 of 019 ----- L SPL H

Hearts 0 - 0 Motherwell

ROB ROBERTSON at Tynecastle May 02 2005

FAR too often, off-the-field matters have forced Heart of Midlothian into the headlines. With the season drawing to a close, they have managed to hit the panic button once again.

A whispering campaign hellbent on suggesting John Robertson will be given his P45 in the summer is growing apace, with rumours that a Dutch manager will be in place next season. The stock-answer from the Tynecastle big-wigs is that Robertson's performance will simply be reviewed at the end of the season and no guarantees about his future employment can be given at this stage.

Why wait to the summer to hold the review? The club's season is over after this drab draw against Motherwell and surely for the benefit of Robertson and the Hearts supporters a decision on his future should be taken sooner rather than later.

It is hard not to feel sorry for the Hearts legend who is being maligned in an insidious manner despite taking them to the semi-finals of the two domestic cup competitions and carrying on the good work started by Craig Levein in the UEFA Cup.

Granted he has now gone five games without a win and bitter rivals Hibs are in pole position to finish third in the league but the fans are still on his side, which is a compelling argument for letting him remain in charge.

Despite having new Lithuanian owners who have promised to throw cash at making Hearts the third force in Scottish football, it is puzzling they can't even fix up loan signing Lee Miller on a long-term deal, let alone make their minds up about the merits of Robertson.

"To be honest I'm not sure what is going on or where I will be playing next season," said Miller, who is still on the books of Bristol City. "I would want to remain here and I would want John to be manager as I am happy here and he has shown a lot of faith in me."

Miller and Neil MacFarlane were the two Hearts players who tried their utmost to beat a Motherwell side which once again was tactically superb and disciplined. Terry Butcher set his team out just right and they deserved their point.

There were a few boos from the home supporters at the end of the match, mainly aimed at referee Iain Brines, whom they felt unjustly gave a penalty to Motherwell. However, the referee was spot-on when he judged Andy Webster had handled in the box, but no harm was done to Hearts with Richie Foran hitting the post from the spot.

The only real highlight of the game was a magnificent save from Gordon Marshall who dived, a la Gordon Banks in the 1970 World Cup when he saved a Pelé header, to turn away a similar effort from Saulius Mikoliunas.

Motherwell have still to play the Old Firm and could still have a major role to play in who wins the Bank of Scotland Premierleague.

Marshall believes any talk of players trying against one side of the Old Firm rather than the other is ridiculous but envisages such tittle-tattle will surface if the league race goes to the wire. "All these stories just start because people get excited about the game," said Marshall. "There is no big conspiracy. There are more radio stations, websites and things like that so rumours can be started anywhere."

Butcher is a proud man and will demand nothing less than 100% from his side regardless of who they are playing although even he realises the number of conspiracy theories that pollute Scottish football.

"We will have to put out our best team or there may be a few fingers pointing at us if we don't," said Butcher. "What we don't want to happen in the last two games is to get two drubbings because the Old Firm will be going for it."

Taken from the Herald

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