London Hearts Supporters Club

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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Mark Bonthrone auth->
9 of 011 Audrius Ksanavicius 33 F H

Crabbe backs Csaba to get Hearts back on even keel

IF initial impressions are anything to go by, Hearts fans can afford to look ahead to the new campaign with cautious optimism.
Just a few short weeks ago, supporters of the Gorgie outfit were approaching the campaign with a sense of trepidation, yet Csaba Laszlo's appointment, and the way he has conducted himself subsequently, is changing all that.

The Hungarian manager has come out publicly and said what many who filled the Gorgie stands last term had been talking about for months – that the players weren't fit enough and that too many were collecting healthy salaries for the minimum of effort on their part.

The former Ugandan national boss has vowed to get the best out of his players, make them earn their money and instil a never say die attitude in his team.

And that, says former Hearts fans' favourite Scott Crabbe, has given supporters a reason to look forward to the big kick-off against Motherwell this weekend.

"Whoever the club appointed as a manager was going to lift the fans a wee bit, but the way the new boss has spoken about his plans so far will have given everyone an added boost," said Crabbe.

"I think someone at the club has finally come out and said what all the fans have been thinking and the fact he has acknowledged the problems will get the punters on his side straight away.

"In the games that I saw last season I don't think there's any doubt that the fitness levels weren't what they should have been and at times they were getting overrun in the second halves of games.

"It doesn't look like there will be any way that will be allowed to happen this season and that's got to be a good thing. I know words are cheap but I think he's saying these things because he really believes them and it's great to see someone taking charge in this way."

Crabbe, a self-confessed Hearts supporter, was as disappointed as the rest of the Gorgie faithful at the way the club performed last term as they slumped to an eighth place SPL finish – the first time they had ended up in the bottom half of the table since the split system was introduced.

By and large, supporters, despite being disillusioned, stood by the club last season, although Crabbe insisted they would not accept a repeat performance.

But the former Falkirk striker believes the disjointed displays the team turned in last season allied to the fact they finished down in eight place in the SPL, means that Laszlo is taking charge at the perfect time, with it difficult to envisage he could fail to improve the Jambos' fortunes.

"Hearts were at an all-time low last season, as bad as I can remember for a long time," he said. "I'm sure most managers would see it as a good time to take over when expectation levels aren't what they once were.

"Hearts still have a good squad of players and if they are fit and have guidance they definitely still have a squad that can compete.

"These guys haven't just become bad players overnight, they are just short on confidence and the new manager looks like he can be the sort of guy to get the best out of them." Indeed, with the likes of Christophe Berra and Andy Driver looking as though they will remain at Tynecastle despite interest from the English Championship and Laryea Kingston still on the books, Crabbe believes there is the nucleus of a squad capable of bringing European football back to Gorgie.

"I think Europe should be the aim for Hearts every season, it's what the players have grown to expect," he said.

"If the club can get off to a good start then I don't think that is beyond them. They just need a few wins under their belt, starting with Motherwell at home, and then they can build some momentum.

"A few wins will get the fans back being vocal and cheering on the players and everything can move on from there.

"I know that Romanov has come out recently and said that he hopes to have less of an influence this year and that suggests he has faith in the new manager too.

"The fans deserve much better than they got last season and I hope things do start off well and continue to go well as they won't accept another year like last year."

Taken from the Scotsman

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