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2 of 032 Bruno Aguiar 41 L SPL A

Cesny keen for blood and thunder with Hearts

Published Date: 09 October 2008
DEIVIDAS CESNAUSKIS is desperate to be fit for next week's Edinburgh derby – even though he revealed today that he feels it is more like a battle than a game of football.
The wiry winger has been out of action for the last couple of months after he picked up a thigh injury whilst on international duty with Lithuania but is back in the gym and running with his team-mates in training.

He has still to resume ball work and concedes that he will be cutting it fine if he is to be fit to face Hibs at Easter Road a week on Sunday, but he'll be doing everything in his power to give himself the chance.

Cesnauskis, who signed for Hearts from FC Kaunas in 2005 – the club which majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov is also heavily involved in – is an old hand when it comes to coping with the atmosphere of an Edinburgh derby and is aware just how much the result against Hibs means to the club's fans.

He says he loves the passion that spills over from the stands and on to the players on the pitch but, while he admits you can't beat the raucous atmosphere, he reckons that the quality of football on offer can suffer because of the blood and thunder of derby day, combined with 100-miles-an-hour passing.

He said: "When it is a derby match is doesn't matter where you are in the table or how you have been playing, the supporters love to win against their rivals. And if you can win against Hibs then everything else seems better.

"These games are never so nice, it is more about fight and yellow or red cards because everyone is so determined to win. It is maybe not the nicest of games for people to look at, there sometimes is not an awful lot of good football played.

"But it is good for the heart, the passion and the commitment and for the atmosphere."

"Cesny", as the fans have come to call him, has spent much of the last couple of weeks working on his own in a bid to build his fitness back up and has been in the gym concentrating on core strength and on the muscles surrounding the problem area in a bid to declare himself available for the trip across the city.

However he knows that he may have to patient when it comes to making a return to the first team: "I am going to work hard over the next few days, I am still feeling a little pain in my thigh but I am hoping that I will be ready within a couple of weeks.

"I came back from the national team and the next day in training I felt the problem. I had played two games with Lithuania and had flown home hoping to play for Hearts on the Saturday. I was disappointed to be out again because I had some injuries the season before.

"But I am feeling much better now.

"I have been working in the gym a lot on my own to make myself strong again and I hope that it won't be too long before I can play again."

He continued: "We will see what happens next week, although I would love to be involved in that game against Hibs. I do not like to set myself targets, we will just see how things are at the beginning of the week and hopefully I will be able to start full training with the ball again because up until now I have only been able to do some running. It will come though, I know that, but I just have to patient."

While he admits that he may be just a few days short of making the derby, he is simply looking forward to getting back out on the pitch and playing football again.

His last outing was in the Co-operative Insurance Cup defeat to First Division Airdrie United in August and he is clearly keen to put the memory of that game behind him by pushing Hearts on to the UEFA Cup place that they missed out on last time around.

The Jambos finished last season in the bottom half of the SPL table and Cesnauskis is determined that there will be no repeat of that.

They face a tough task over the next few weeks though if they are to remain in touch at the top of the table, with the trip to Easter Road quickly followed by a clash with Aberdeen and then Gordon Strachan's Celtic.

However, Cesnauskis believes that attaining decent results in that tricky trio of games will simply show the club's critics how far they have come in recent months: "There have been disappointments but I think that the next few games will show exactly how far we have come.

"In the next couple of weeks we play Hibs, then Aberdeen and also Celtic, they are difficult games but I think that they will also be good games for us because everyone wants this club to do well.

"We also know that Hibs and Aberdeen will be trying to also get the UEFA Cup place so that makes these games even more important for us."

While Cesny has missed out on a number of games since Csaba Laszlo's arrival in Edinburgh, the 27-year-old has been impressed by the new Hearts coach's approach to the game and in the way that he deals with his players.

And the Lithuanian believes that the former boss of the Ugandan national side now has the Gorgie outfit moving in the right direction: "He is a good coach and I think that everyone has been happy with the way that things have been going.

"Okay, we had some disappointing results in the last two games but I think that he has already shown that he is a good guy and that the players all like him.

"He has got things going in the right direction and that is the main thing."

Taken from the Scotsman

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