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<-Page <-Team Sat 30 Aug 2008 Hamilton Academical 1 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Phil Gordon auth-> Craig Thomson
[D Lyle 80]
16 of 027 Marius Zaliukas 18 ;Andrew Driver 58 L SPL A

Csaba Laszlo forges new spirit at Hearts
Phil Gordon

Heart of Midlothian may be running out of time to prise Derek Riordan away from Celtic but they have already acquired another key ingredient from the other half of the Old Firm to continue their impressive start to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League campaign – they have borrowed some narkiness from Rangers.

Andrew Driver’s decisive goal at New Douglas Park gave the Edinburgh club their third win in four league games and erased the embarrassment of their Coop Cup elimination last week against Airdrie United. Yet it did not appear a cause for celebration among Csaba Laszlo’s players, with Michael Stewart and Audrius Ksanavicius indulging in a furious row at full-time.

“It is a healthy, positive thing,” Driver said. “A bit of disagreement between players shows that we want to win things. Last season, when we played Rangers, I remember Nacho Novo gave the ball away and Barry Ferguson ran 20 yards to have a go at him. This game showed the difference between Hearts now, and then.

“Last season, if team got a goal back on us, they often scored two. We had a disastrous result against Airdrie in the cup but in the league, the momentum is there. We have a real confidence about our play. Three wins in four games has given the dressing-room a real buzz. Everyone is pulling in the right direction and that is a change from the last couple of years.”

Laszlo would not comment after the success at Hamilton on whether Hearts are ready to launch a bid to bring Riordan to Tynecastle but he has certainly made new men out of the side that lost on penalties to Airdrie.

“I can’t forget the Airdrie game,” the Hearts manager said. “I spoke to the players about the spirit in the team and now it is not a question – the answer is there. We played good football, it was a lucky game and it was always in our hands. We got the goals but I was a little bit sad about the last ten minutes when we gave the opponents a chance at goal from nothing.”

If Laszlo felt his side were charitable in allowing Derek Lyle’s glancing header to make the last few minutes uncomfortable, then his counterpart, Billy Reid, was far more frustrated about the Hamilton defending. Mar-ius Zaliukas was given a free header to open the scoring in the first half and then a blunder from Simon Mensing just before the hour allowed Driver to double the margin.

“You just can’t defend like that in the Premier League and we have spoken about that,” Reid said. Hamilton were unbeaten at home last season in the Irn-Bru Scottish League first division but their record has lasted just 180 minutes in the top flight.

“That first goal was a sloppy one to lose and, although we did get going a bit after it, the second one killed us,” Mensing said. “Obviously, it was my fault. If you make a mistake that far back up the pitch, you will get punished in the Premier League. When you go up to another division, you do not expect to win as many games as you did the season before. That is life.

“We always said from day one – even after we had a good start – that it would be important how we came back from defeats. We’ve now had two but this squad has a good spirit. I’m sure that we can bounce back from these results.”

Hamilton Academical (4-3-3): T Cerny 7 – T Stevenson 5, C Swailes 5 (sub: J McCarthy, 20min 6), D Elebert 5, B Easton 5 – A Neil 7, S Mensing 5, J McArthur 7 – R Offiong 4, J Thomas 4 (sub: M Corcoran, 62 6), L Akins 4 (sub: D Lyle, 62 7). Substitutes not used: S Murdoch, C Casement, D Graham, S Sorsa. Booked: Offiong, Neil.

Heart of Midlothian (4-4-2): M Kello 8 – E Jonsson 6, M Zaliukas 7, C Berra 7, L Wallace 7 – C Karipidis 5, M Stewart 6, D Obua 8 (sub: A Ksanavicius, 79), L Kingston 8 (sub: R Palazuelos, 90) – A Driver 7, J Mole 5 (sub: C Nade, 73). Substitutes not used: J Balogh, S Mikoliunas, D Cesnauskis, J Thomson.

Taken from

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