Csaba Laszlo has saved my career, says Hearts star Michael Stewart
Sep 17 2008 By Gary Ralston
MICHAEL STEWART has thanked Csaba Laszlo for giving him back his hunger for football just as the Hearts star prepares to hit his peak years of his career.
The Scotland midfielder admitted he was in danger of going through the motions because the structure for success at Tynecastle in recent years has been non-existent.
But now he has rediscovered the appetite for self-improvement after finding a boss he can trust and who never stops talking about football.
Stewart's impressive start to the season has seen him score three goals and win a recall to the Scotland squad.
He said: "Csaba's a football man and you can speak to him about football all day. Some players aren't interested in that but I am.
"It's great to find someone like him because you can pick his brains and bounce ideas off him. It's refreshing that someone has belief enough in their own abilities to take on board the point of view of others, even if he doesn't agree with them.
"He is passionate and that can be infectious and spread throughout the team. When things are going s*** and you get involved in nonsense then your love of the game can soon dwindle, but he has excited us again.
"Personally, I've always come back for every new season feeling good but unfortunately when you're faced with the same old rigmarole your enthusiasm can soon dwindle. If things aren't done properly around the place you become disappointed because football is no different to any other industry - if your employees aren't looking forward to being part of their workplace you won't get the best from them.
"But someone like Csaba is making it enjoyable again and that's a massive difference."
Stewart seems to have been around the scene forever after bursting into the Manchester United team as a teenager.
He's had two spells at Hearts, with a spell at city rivals Hibs sandwiched in between, but he reckons it's only now he is getting used to the demands of the job.
Stewart said: "This is only my fourth full season in football, which is slightly artificial as I'm 27. Most players break into the first team at 19 and reach the stage I'm at now when they're 23, which is growing into my role in the team and accepting additional responsibility.
"But it helps the rest of the team also understand their roles in the new setup.
That benefits me, just as I hope the way I'm playing benefits them in turn.
"It's about everyone working together as a unit on behalf of the team.
"The game is becoming easier and that's because the manager is making the players better through his coaching, which is a massive compliment to him.
"I feel a lot more comfortable in what I'm doing and that's perhaps been reflected in my call-ups recently for Scotland.
"But I've been brought into the squad as a result of late call-offs and the next hurdle for me is to win a place in the squad from the off. The only way I'm going to do that is by maintaining my performances for Hearts."
Stewart was speaking at Tynecastle yesterday as he joined forced with Edinburgh rugby star Andrew Kelly to launch a new marketing partnership between the clubs.
Hearts and the Gunners hope to work together to promote sporting weekends in the capital, with Magner's League games played on a Friday evening at Murrayfield and Clydesdale Bank SPL fixtures at Tynecastle on Saturday afternoons.
Stewart said: "I played rugby at school and really enjoying going to watch Edinburgh's games at Murrayfield."
Hooker Kelly added: "I've always supported Hearts and so do a few of my Edinburgh team-mates.
"Edinburgh has a big rugby community and a big football community and you often get fans who cross over. It makes sense for the clubs to look at working together."
Taken from the Daily Record