London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2008-09--> All for 20080809
<-Page <-Team Sat 09 Aug 2008 Hearts 3 Motherwell 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sun ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Robert Martin auth-> Iain Brines
[D Clarkson 33] ;[D Clarkson 80]
29 of 029 Michael Stewart 25 ;Audrius Ksanavicius 40 ;Saulius Mikoliunas 81 L SPL H

Hearts 3 Motherwell 2

ROBERT MARTIN at Tynecastle

MICHAEL STEWART knows that he will be branded a failure for the rest of his football life.

But all that matters to the Hearts midfielder is having a boss who really believes he can be a success.

Stewart claimed in pre-season that Csaba Laszlo was only the second good manager he had worked under since leaving Manchester United.

And here he produced an all-action display that shows playing for the best brings out the best in him.Stewart, once highly-rated by Sir Alex Ferguson, epitomised everything this new Hearts side is about.

Last season he chased all over the place but there was never a clear sense of direction about his game at any pooint.

Here he was disciplined, he was composed and he was clinical. Every run had a purpose.

He scored Hearts’ first goal and had a hand in Saulius Mikoliunas’ winner.

It was a brilliant midfield display and a performance that would not have gone unnoticed by watching Scotland boss George Burley.

But Stewart, whose international career stalled after the Under-21s, insists he is more concerned about helping Laszlo repair a reputation tarnished by a series of flops than think about an international recall.

He said: “Unfortunately the end of the Under-21s coincided with two years of disappointment with club football for me.

''It is amazing how other people’s perceptions of you can be altered by that.

“I was at Manchester United and had played some first team games there.

But when you are not becoming a regular then people subconsciously maybe see it as a failure.

“I went to Nottingham Forest and it didn’t work out there so that is another failure.

“I came back up the road and I was at Rangers for pre-season and that didn’t work out so there’s another failure.


“I came to Hearts for a season and that didn’t work out so there’s another failure. So there are four or five failures in the space of two years and people then have this perception and think ‘He can play football but he has failed there, there, there and there’.

“So this image of who you are begins to build up.

“It won’t take a year or two to change that — it will take forever. There will ALWAYS be a question mark over my career.

“I’ve enjoyed working under two good managers since I left United, I had Tony Mowbray and I now have this manager here.

“And when you work under a manager you have respect for and their knowledge of the game is fantastic it lifts you and helps you progress. That’s something I will look to do continually this season.”

He added: “A few people have mentioned that I said there were quite a few mangers who in my opinion don’t really know too much about football.

“People laughed and joked about that but I was being serious.

“When you work with a manager who has knowledge of the game, is straightforward and whose man-management skills are first class then he is a joy to work with.

“I am a straightforward, honest type of person and when you get that in return it is refreshing.”

Laszlo’s effect on Hearts was clear to see from the off as they showed no respect to a Motherwell side that had been the best of the rest last season.

The Hungarian deployed Christos Karipidis as a holding midfielder which allowed Stewart to make bursting runs into the visitors’ box.

The move paid off in 25 minutes when he combined with Andrew Driver before beating Graeme Smith with an excellent finish.

The Jambos support sang ‘Are you watching Mark McGhee?’ in reference to his summer decision to turn down the role Laszlo took.

But his side levelled eight minutes later when fine play from Stephen Hughes allowed David Clarkson an easy finish.

Hearts regained the lead before the break as Audrius Ksanavicius made the most of a mix-up between Stephen Craigan and Smith to poke the ball home.

But a woeful first touch from sub Juho Makela allowed Clarkson to level again with ten minutes left — before Stewart again took the game by the scruff of the neck two minutes later.

His burst played in sub Mikoliunas, who took one touch before blasting a stunning drive high into the roof of Smith’s net.

It was a goal that had Laszlo dancing on the touchline in a display of emotion that will only endear him to the Jambos support.

At the final whistle he embraced several of his players — and reserved a slap across the head for Makela, who had almost cost his side the win.

But it is also clear Laszlo has work to do. He desperately needs a striker despite a decent display from Jamie Mole.

On any other day Motherwell, whose poor defending cost them dear, might have punished the Jambos more severely than they did.

And while Stewart is far too smart to make any bold claims at this early stage he believes the addition of a couple of quality players could help Hearts go places.

He said: “We have just played one game and I don’t want to get carried away with myself or the team as a whole.

“I’ve known for a long time what I am capable of and the manager has spoken at length not just to myself but to a lot of the players individually about what he is looking for.

“Hopefully before the deadline comes we can bring in a few players as well and if we can raise the quality of the squad I really think the team can be successful.”

The Sun

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