London Hearts Supporters Club

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Anatoly Korobochka <-auth Chris Roberts auth-> Craig Mackay
Tall Ibrahim [B Robson 51] ;[N Hunt 60] ;[B Robson 70] ;[B Robson 78] David [4] Robertson
6 of 010 ----- L SPL H


Frail admits to dressing-room divisions after watching Jambos fall apart
By Chris Roberts

HEARTS supporters were encouraged to wave flags to celebrate the different nationalities plying their trade at Tynecastle - but this was no united nations display.

In fact the gutless stars on show should have been handed white flags as they surrendered to Dundee United and perhaps waved goodbye to Europe.

There was no hiding place for assistant boss Stephen Frail, who was again brave enough to face the music moments after the devastating defeat.

He said: "If I'm brutally honest, you can see there is a start of a team spirit but there's still not enough.

"We have a group of players who sit and talk and eat together but all in their nationalities and it's wrong.

"We have eight or nine Lithuanians who all sit together, the Scottish guys - whether they're young or old - sit together and then we've a table of Europeans.

"If you don't sit and talk to your team-mates will you go out and die on the pitch for them? At the moment we aren't."

But where was interim head coach, sport director or whatever you want to call him Anatoly Korobochka's explanation to the dismayed supporters?

He was nowhere to be seen, just like the players he and stay-away dictator Vladimir Romanov had selected. The frustrated fans deservedly wanted answers but instead turned on those home-based stars - such as Craig Gordon and Christophe Berra - who actually cared.

The Hearts faithful wanted to know who brought in the likes of Saulius Mikoliunas, Jose Goncalves and Bruno Aguiar when they were clearly not ready after injury.

There was no Jambos chief to be seen and definitely no heart on show.

Frail said: "For us to come off having lost 4-0 to a team that are not really playing for anything then I don't know what happened.

"To be out-fought by a team that showed more hunger and desire is a bit sad from our point of view.

"I can't explain it, if I can be brutally honest. We can sit and talk about tactics and different formations but if they don't roll their sleeves up and fight and die for the badge you are playing for then you have no chance.

"That's the way it looked. They went 2-0 up and it was easy street - it could have been five or six which is disappointing.

"I'm not saying we didn't try but they tried harder and wanted to win more.

"As a team you need to go into a tackle and know there is somebody fighting and dying for you but we didn't have that. You need to ask the players if they are hurting enough. I hope they are because I know I am and the rest of the coaches are.

"I'm quite sure every single fan who walked away from here is hurting. I hope the players are hurting because they should be."

To take aim at everyone in the Hearts firing line is perhaps not doing United enough credit.

The capital men needed a giant like Lee Wilkie alongside them in the trenches and hat-trick hero Barry Robson marching them to glory.

But even Tannadice boss Craig Levein was stunned at just how easy it was for his troops to march into their territory and take lives.

The former Gorgie boss said: "I was surprised. To win at Tynecastle at any time and keep a clean sheet is extremely difficult but we deserved to score four goals."

Hearts fans first aimed their anger at referee Craig Mackay after he did his own bit for comic relief with his double dismissal of Ibrahim Tall and David Robertson.

The two did nothing more offensive than throw a custard pie after going nose-to-nose at a poor set-piece.

But if people didn't know much of the official prior to the game they certainly went away remembering him after his comedy reaction to relieve the pair of their duties.

This was no laughing matter for Hearts though. They were given an early warning when Noel Hunt lobbed Gordon but watched his effort come back off the woodwork. But even the scoreline from Ibrox failed to lift morale in the camp at the break and instead they cowardly curled up into a ball.

Despite the big names in the line-up, the best Jambo on the park was young winger Andrew Driver who despite having a bad afternoon dusted himself down time and time again, rolled his sleeves up and got stuck in.

For all his faults at Pittodrie last weekend, the Tynecastle side desperately missed the heart and sole of Laryea Kingston. Without him they were lost.

The opener came in the 51st minute when Robson was allowed to run from midfield and collect a Steven Robb pass before blasting the ball through a bemused-looking Gordon's legs.

Things got even worse when Robson took a Jon Daly flick in his stride before hammering it past the Scotland No.1 from 10 yards.

That prompted a shock mini-exodus from the flag-waving masses.

Hearts fans had stomached enough and headed for the exits, leaving behind a brave few to slag off players who were still pretending to care.

But one man was courageous enough to sympathise with the lack of support.

Frail said: "It was horrendous to see that and I would have done the same. As a fan I would have felt the same.

"We don't want to patronise them in any way. They get patronised enough with people scoring goals and kissing the badge. But I can only say to them that we will do everything we can because they shouldn't be subjected to that.

"That was nothing short of abysmal. It is not acceptable and we will need to try to put it right."

Those who left missed Hunt make it three before Robson again popped up in a way namesake Bryan would have been proud of to complete his hat-trick and show watching Scotland boss Alex McLeish he should be part of his set-up.

Asmall minority turned on Gordon, who offered his captain's armband to them as his commitment was questioned as he left the field.

But where was Mr Romanov? Instead it is Frail who will again be left to rally the troops in what should be a fight to the finish for a European place.

With seven games remaining they are six points behind third-place Aberdeen but Hibs and Kilmarnock are breathing down their necks.

Frail said: "We are capable of doing it, which sounds silly after watching that, but we will keep trying to turn it around."

Gordon and his multicultural team-mates might be glad to go their separate ways for international matches this week and Romanov will no doubt want to brag about the number of cap stars in his squad but the break will not help at a time when unity is needed.

MAN OF THE MATCH Barry Robson (Dundee United)

MOMENT THAT CHANGED THE GAME: Robson's easy first goal set up United to go on the rampage.

Taken from the Daily Record

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