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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Gordon Waddell auth-> Iain Brines
[D Clarkson 33] ;[D Clarkson 80]
16 of 029 Michael Stewart 25 ;Audrius Ksanavicius 40 ;Saulius Mikoliunas 81 L SPL H

Hearts 3-2 Motherwell

Aug 10 2008 Gordon Waddell At Tynecastle

CSABA LASZLO kicked off his revolution with a wonder win - then warned Hearts not to fill their heads with dreams of Europe. The Jambos' stunning and steely show made a mockery of their eighthplace finish last term as they fought off a double comeback from Motherwell to take the points.

But despite the Romanian's reign getting off to a flier, he doled out a reality check at the final whistle.

Inspirational playmaker Michael Stewart, Audrius Ksanavicius and sub Sol Mikoliunas provided the firepower to overcome a David Clarkson double in an outstanding season opener.

And Laszlo said: "It wasn't just the three points - it was about seeing the team stand up and come back from losing two goals to still win.

"I saw spirit and discipline - they understand what I want.

"But we must be realistic. Wemust not start dreaming about UEFA Cups, Champions League.

"We must keep our feet on the ground and think only of being in the top six."

It seemed incredible there wasn't a single fresh face among the 22 starters to get the fans' juices flowing on day one.

But the intrigue of Jambos' No.1 dugout target Mark McGhee facing them gave the game its spice.

Well fans held up banners saying "They tried to make McGhee a Jambo, we said No, No, No!" But the longer the game went the clearer it became that Hearts had managed their rehab without him.

They took the lead with a magnificent midfielder's goal in the 25th minute.

Great work between Stewart and on fire Andy Driver saw the wideman deliver a perfect feed back to the edge of the box. The timing of the run was sweet, the first touch sublime and the 16-yard finish a fitting burial to a vibrant move.

The goal would have impressed a watching George Burley no end - and it brought Tynecastle alive.

The swathes of empty seats may have been a far cry from the sell-out the place was two seasons ago.

But the faithful were getting value and were nearly celebrating again when Driver's deflected shot looped up and off the bar with Graeme Smith toiling.

This Well side didn't get where they were last season with some resilience though - and they levelled within eight minutes.

A superb dancing run from Stephen Hughes to the byeline left stopper Marius Zaliukas standing and Clarkson drilled home at the near post.

It was the kind of goal that would have had Hearts crumbling last season. This time they got their heads up and were back in front by the break.

Ksanavicius may have been the smallest man on the park but he made up for it with heart.

Stephen Craigan didn't deal with Mark Reynolds' back header and the little Lithuanian threw himself into the mix.

He got nailed in the process but also got the touch that mattered to squeeze Hearts back in front.

Jambos had the upper hand again but never rammed it home despite some quality play.

And they gifted Well a road back with 10 minutes left.

Sub Juho Makela's abysmal touch from a perfectly-weighted Stewart pass laid the ball on a plate for Clarkson, although he had to work hard to smack home a crisp 20-yarder.

The blunder earned Makela a less-than-playful smack to the head from his manager on the final whistle.

Again Hearts trawled the depths of their spirit and Stewart produced the goods once more.

He brilliantly held off Marc Fitzpatrick in the middle of the park before feeding Mikoliunas.

But the end product was all the Lithuanian's as he lashed the ball home off the underside of the bar to send Tynecastle tonto.

Stewart said: "It's a pleasure to work with a manager of Csaba's calibre - you feel like you're learning things every day.

"And it was great to see the side's determination not to settle for a draw when pegged back."

Taken from the Sunday Mail

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