London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Thu 28 Sep 2006 Sparta Prague 0 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Daily Record ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Valdas Ivanauskas <-auth Gary Ralston auth-> Peter Sippel
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By Gary Ralston

HEARTS boss Vald as Ivanauskas last night cursed the missed chance from Jamie Mole he reckons cost them their place in the UEFA Cup. The Jambos were bundled out of a European competition for the second time in a month last night after drawing 0-0 at Sparta Prague.

They lost out 2-0 on aggregate and passed up the opportunity to qualify for the group stage of the UEFA tournament after earlier missing out on the Champions League. Mole, left, missed a gilt-edged effort to turn the screw on Sparta but keeper Jaromir Blazek touched his shot round the post.

Ivanauskas admitted the first-leg defeat in Edinburgh cost his club dear but reckons they would have gone on to qualify had Geordie striker Mole netted.

Ivanauskas said: "If Jamie had scored that goal we'd have gone into the next round.

"But he's a young boy and it's an experience for him and everyone. But if he had scored in the second half we would have won the game and made it interesting.

"Now Europe is ended and congratulations to Sparta Prague. In the end we lost it at Murrayfield.


"But this has been a big experience for me, the players and the club.

"Every year we need to play in Europe and now we will work hard to reach our target and play there again next season."

Ivanauskas defended his decision to start with Mole ahead of Roman Bednar, whom he claimed lacked sharpness.

He also defended his substitution policy, which included swapping Robbie Neilson for Ibrahim Tall and, strangely, putting on midfielder Bruno Aguiar for striker Mauricio Pinilla.

Ivanauskas added: "Roman started the championship very well and was scoring a lot of goals but he had picked up some small injuries and although he has worked hard we need him fresh. He needs goals in my opinion.

"Robbie did well but I thought Ibrahim gave us better options and if you noticed we still played our normal system when Bruno came on for Mauricio, with three strikers."

Sparta coach Michal Bilek admitted his side should have put the game to bed before half-time as they passed up a series of chances in the first half. Bilek said: "We lost some of our power in the second half but I'm happy we're through, even though we didn't score."

Taken from the Daily Record

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