London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2005-06--> All for 20051029
<-Page <-Team Sat 29 Oct 2005 Hibernian 2 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Times ------ Report Type-> Srce->
John McGlynn (Caretaker) <-auth Phil Gordon auth-> John Underhill
Jankauskas Edgaras [G Buezelin 78] ;[G O'Connor 80]
20 of 099 ----- L SPL A

Hartley in bid to talk himself out of a jam

By Phil Gordon
PAUL HARTLEY is already public enemy No 1 around Easter Road. He does not want to add Tynecastle to the list. The player, whose T-shirt tribute to George Burley upset Vladimir Romanov last weekend, will simply focus on putting Hibernian noses out of joint today, not the man who pays his wages.

Hartley insists that there is a spirit of togetherness at Heart of Midlothian at the end of a turbulent week. That is timely, given that the trip to Easter Road will be the most hostile environment that the Bank of Scotland Premierleague leaders have faced all season. Everyone wants to upset Hearts now, especially their rivals across Edinburgh.

Hartley’s every move at Easter Road is accompanied by a hail of jeers, as befits someone who once played for Hibernian and now operates across the divide — albeit by way of St Johnstone, in between — but it was the stubborn streak needed to shrug off that sort of reception, which was behind last Saturday’s act of defiance when Hartley tore off his maroon shirt at the end of the win over Dunfermline Athletic at Tynecastle and displayed a T-shirt, right in front of Romanov in the directors’ box, which said: “For the gaffer.”

Hearts are now trying to embrace life without Burley. It will not be easy, as Hartley acknowledged. Yet, as he relaxed at the club’s training complex yesterday, the Scotland midfield player insisted that there is no feud between him and Romanov.

“I get on very well with Mr Romanov,” Hartley said. “I spoke to him on Wednesday. There is no problem between us. The T-shirt tribute was just a mark of respect for George Burley. It was something that Rudi Skacel and I spoke about. We did it for the manager — it was not against the owner of the club.

“These things happen in football. I am sure the club had a good reason for doing what they did. I still have respect for our old manager and the owner. It is not for me to comment on what might have happened.

“What happened last weekend was a real shock. It always is when you lose a manager, but this time, with us top of the league, we were even more surprised. He was one of the reasons I signed a new contract with the club — but so too, was Mr Romanov. I want to stay here. I just hope we can get someone as good as George Burley for our new manager.”

Hearts are looking for their fourth manager in a year, after the exit of Craig Levein to Leicester City and then the sacking of John Robertson last April. Yet Hartley admits that the club have changed completely from debt-ridden underachiever to one where Romanov’s money — and Burley's successor — has the power to turn potential into trophies.

“I did not think a year ago that Hearts would be in the position that they are now,” Hartley said. “We are now being linked with two of the biggest managers in the European game. That shows how far the club has come. It is really good for the players to be linked with Claudio Ranieri and Sir Bobby Robson but we hope that the appointment is made a lot quicker than George Burley’s was during the summer.

“The changes here have been unbelievable. This club was going into administration eight months ago. Then George and Mr Romanov brought in some top quality players, from all around Europe. We spent money on the kind of players who earned good salaries abroad and that is all down to the owner. He wants to make Hearts one of the top clubs in Britain.

“When you see what Mr Romanov is trying to build, you want to be part of that. People speculate that because George Burley has left, the players will follow but that is not the case. We want to be successful here and we want to finish the job we have started by winning the title.”

Hartley may be trying to hurt Hibernian today, yet he has a lot of admiration for the way things have been transformed at his old club too. He even believes that Tony Mowbray’s side could be considered a genuine title contender as well — flying in the face of George Foulkes, the Hearts chairman, who wrote off both Rangers and Hibernian.

“There is no chance that Rangers are out of this race,” Hartley said. “I cannot see why people have written off Hibernian either. They have a great young team and a fine manager. They have developed a lot since last season, when they got the Uefa Cup place that we wanted. However, we have raised the bar. Rangers being out of the title is just silly. People are saying it is a two-horse race but I am not having that. It is a four-horse race.

“However, people have also said our bubble would burst and that it would happen at Easter Road. I am quite happy for them to tip Hibernian for the derby. That suits us. We have a strong mentality and there is great spirit in our camp."

Taken from

<-Page <-Team Sat 29 Oct 2005 Hibernian 2 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © 2005 |