London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sat 29 Oct 2005 Hibernian 2 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
John McGlynn (Caretaker) <-auth Paul Kiddie auth-> John Underhill
Jankauskas Edgaras [G Buezelin 78] ;[G O'Connor 80]
49 of 099 ----- L SPL A

Expect a tale of the Unexpected


THE International Storytelling Festival drew to a close in the Capital over the weekend but it's unlikely any of the offerings matched the chapter which has just unfolded at Tynecastle.

Such was the mystery and intrigue surrounding George Burley's shock departure from the managerial hot seat that recent events in Gorgie would not have looked out of place in an Ian Rankin thriller.

John McGlynn suddenly found himself assuming the role of the main character after being thrust into the spotlight as caretaker boss and burdened with the unenviable task of maintaining the Jambos' splendid start.

Things began in excellent fashion with back-to-back victories over Dunfermline and Kilmarnock, although this particular tale had an unhappy ending with arch-rivals Hibs bringing their unbeaten opening to the league campaign shuddering to a halt at Easter Road on Saturday.

The clash proved to be an unlucky 13th for the Jambos as goals from Guillaume Beuzelin and Garry O'Connor consigned the visitors to their first SPL defeat of the season.

There was nothing unfortunate about the reverse, however, managerless Hearts failing to come anywhere near the form which had propelled them to the summit of the table.

Celtic's 4-2 victory over Dundee United at Tannadice yesterday saw the Parkhead side replace the Jam Tarts on goal difference.

Joint top after 13 matches is a situation which everyone at Tynecastle would have accepted without hesitation as the curtain went up on the season three months ago. That at least will be a small crumb of comfort as the Jambos attempt to shrug off the bitter disappointment of seeing their proud record undone at the home of the Hibees.

If the weekend display highlighted anything, it is the pressing need for the club to appoint Burley's successor as a matter of priority. David Cesnauskis started his first league game of the season against Kilmarnock but found himself out of the squad completely as McGlynn named the same team which started against Dunfermline - Steven Pressley, Paul Hartley and Sammy Camazzola all restored to the starting XI.

The return of the Scotland internationalists failed to spark the visitors, though, and few could argue that the better team won on the day.

Hearts' lacklustre performance was perhaps more like what could have been anticipated against the Pars just hours after Burley's exit. For it to come against their fierce rivals made it all the more disappointing for the fans who had made their way across the city confident of seeing Tony Mowbray's side once again put to the sword after the 4-0 triumph in August.

While a number of Hearts players were well below par on the day, Edgar Jankauskas was the main culprit after his second half dismissal.

It had been an evenly-contested affair before the Lithuanian was dispatched for a second yellow card for a senseless shove on Scott Brown and the hosts' numerical advantage for the last 28 minutes proved decisive.

A Champions League winner and veteran of numerous high-profile derby matches, the former Porto player left referee John Underhill with little option after his retaliatory push on Brown having already won a free-kick after being fouled by the Hibs star.

"Edgar was on a yellow card, he is an experienced player and he should have known better than to get involved at that stage," said McGlynn.

"We hadn't been at our best but it looked as if we were capable of getting a 0-0 or even sneaking a goal ourselves. Going down to ten men made that more difficult and once Edgar went off I think a draw was the best we were going to get."

Chief executive Phil Anderton continues his search for a new manager this week and McGlynn appreciates that the derby setback may have brought a sense of urgency to the pursuit.

He said: "Football is a results business and a win would have bought the club a little more time in that department.

"We have to stay strong. It's a kick in the teeth and it's how we respond to this which is important. We have to regroup and prepare now for Dundee United and if someone happens to come in this week then so be it."

Rudi Skacel failed to stamp his usual impression on the game, although he did have two shots in the first half which Zibi Malkowski did well to keep out.

Hartley didn't look fully fit after missing the Killie game with a hamstring problem and the midfielder will be disappointed he didn't do better with a weak effort straight at Malkowski on the hour mark. McGlynn admitted he withdrew Julien Brellier after 61 minutes as he feared the Frenchman, who had been booked early in the opening exchanges, would be sent off. Completing the last half-hour with a man short was the last thing the caretaker boss wanted but he was faced with such a daunting scenario after Jankauskas' moment of madness.

Beuzelin's opener in the 77th minute left Hearts with a mountain to climb and O'Connor put the game out of their reach with his 50th goal for Hibs three minutes later.

Gordon, who saved well from O'Connor in the final minute, admitted the defeat was hard to take but insisted his team-mates have the mental strength to prevent it derailing their championship challenge.

"It was hard to take but we never really turned up on Saturday," he said. "As players we have got to take responsibility. Against Rangers and Celtic this season we have come up with the answers but didn't come up with any at Easter Road.

"We let the fans down with our display as once again they turned out in numbers to give us great backing.

"We have to take it on the chin and move on. We have to get over it as we are still joint top on points with Celtic and in there fighting for the title. It was our first league defeat of the season and wasn't a nice experience. However, we have faced such situations before and will do so in the future.

"It's a setback but we'll get back into training this week, look at what went wrong and work on ensuring we bounce back against Dundee United this weekend."

Whether the new man is at the helm by then remains to be seen and will be down to the progress made in the coming days by Anderton.

With famous figures such as Sir Bobby Robson and Ottmar Hitzfeld all understood to be in the frame, there's likely to be another sensational twist to this tantalising Tynecastle tale.

Taken from the Scotsman

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