London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Wed 27 Aug 2008 Hearts 0 Airdrie United 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Martin Greig auth-> Eddie Smith
----- Kevin Alan McDonald
6 of 010 ----- LC H

Hearts badly in need of cutting edge, says Bannon

MARTIN GREIG August 29 2008

Csaba Laszlo suffered his first big setback as Hearts head coach - following an otherwise encouraging start to the season - in Wednesday night's Co-Operative Insurance Cup capitulation to Airdrie United.

The Hungarian has galvanised the Tynecastle club since taking over in the summer, but familiar frailties returned to haunt them against Kenny Black's First Division side, who went through on penalties.

Five goals in their first three league games has been a decent return, but against Airdrie they failed to score in 120 minutes and created few chances. "They have the same problem as last year in that they don't look as if they can score goals," reflected Eamonn Bannon, the former Hearts winger.

"It reminded me of when I played for Hearts against Airdrie at Hampden and we hammered them in terms of possession but couldn't score. Airdrie were very defensive. They had one long-range effort that came off the bar and one or two half-chances but they just asked Hearts the question, Can you score against us?' and they couldn't.

"Hearts seem to be trying to get more bodies forward. When Andrew Driver pushes down the left, you can see that they try to get more midfielders and strikers into the box. They have scored goals this season and I watched them hit three against Motherwell, but when a team defends against them it becomes clear that they don't have a decent striker and the ability to break them down."

Jamie Mole has started the season as the main striker and scored in the 2-1 win over St Mirren, but has yet to prove himself as a consistent threat. Against Airdrie, he played up front on his own, supported by Laryea Kingston. "Mole is a bit like Kenny Miller," added Bannon. "He is very industrious and you would give him 10 out of 10 for running but he doesn't always look like he is going to score."

"Christian Nade looks a bit fitter but could do with losing a few pounds. Velicka was the one who looked like a goalscorer and they got rid of him."

Michael Stewart has been one of the major plus points of the new season for Hearts and his form has moved him to the fringes of the Scotland squad. His passing abilities have flourished alongside Hristos Karipidis in midfield.

The midfield area is one where Laszlo is working hard to find balance and yesterday he completed the signing of Polish midfielder Adrian Mrowiec from FBK Kaunas.

"Laszlo has tried to get the right blend and they have played Karipidis beside Stewart. Karipidis's job is to win the ball and give it to Stewart. They don't seem to want to play both Stewart and Kingston together," added Bannon. "They need to find the best way to use Kingston because he is a very talented boy."

Unlike their Edinburgh rivals, Hibs, who have vulneraabilities in defence, Bannon believes Hearts' challenge is to be more creative from middle to front. "Hearts this year compared to last look like they have a better shape, but they don't create many chances. I watched Hibs against Morton in their 4-2 defeat on Tuesday night and they created maybe 10 chances. Hearts only created three or four against Airdrie."

Taken from the Herald

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