London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sat 15 Nov 2008 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Frank Gilfeather auth-> Mike Tumilty
17 of 020 Bruno Aguiar 22 L SPL A

Inverness CT 0 - 1 Hearts

FRANK GILFEATHER November 17 2008

With the ease of a Stealth bomber, Hearts have slipped quietly into third place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League as Bruno Aguiar's inspired play at Inverness underlined their claim to once more stand alongside Scottish football's elite.

The gifted Portuguese midfielder, a stand-out in a cluttered midfield, adopted a matter-of-fact approach to his re-emergence in the Tynecastle side after 18 worrying months of treatment for knee and ankle injuries which threatened his career.

His controlled performance, not to mention his wondrous strike in the 22nd minute from 25 yards which evaded the diving Inverness goalkeeper Ryan Esson to hit the back of the net, was, indeed, eye-catching. Although the home side's fast-paced and direct approach in a game they dominated for long spells, merited something better than a seventh home defeat in eight tries.

Aguiar, clearly enjoying his football, remained a calm oasis in a crowded and uncompromising midfield where referee Mike Tumilty somehow managed to restrict himself to one booking, for the Hearts defender Marius Zaliukas.

"When I was injured," the former Benfica and FBK Kaunas player stressed, "I would sit at home and think about how much I missed playing football. Now I am enjoying every game. It is fantastic because I have been given the opportunity of doing what I prefer in life so I enjoy every day.

"The team must work very hard to keep third place in the league and concentrate on every game without thinking about the next one. We must treat every game like a cup final."

They certainly appeared to have adopted such an approach, battening down the hatches in a torrid and pulsating second half, albeit one in which the home side could only infrequently test Janos Balogh, the Hearts goalkeeper.

Had Robbie Neilson, the visitors' full-back, not been handily positioned on the goal-line in the first-half, however, Adam Rooney's close-range effort would have brought an equaliser for Inverness.

"You have to give credit to Hearts," said Dougie Imrie, the Inverness winger who did much to unsettle the opposing defence. "They stood firm and didn't give us many chances. It was disappointing to come away with nothing after putting so much into it, especially in the second half.

"I don't know why we can't win at home. It seems we just can't get into a rhythm the way we did last season. I can't say we've been playing badly at home. It's just that we haven't been getting the breaks.

"We're at Kilmarnock for our next game and we can't afford to lose as we need to start picking up some more points."

For Hearts, though, the signs are clear that they are strong contenders for a UEFA Cup spot this season as they appear capable and willing to compete on several levels.

Csaba Laszlo, their manager, certainly believes so, and sent out a message that his side will be difficult to beat.

"If you stay good in the defence," he said, "and play well in the middle of the field with ability and confidence, you can be successful.

"We remained solid at the back and gave our opponents little opportunity, although we were lucky on two or three occasions, particularly in the first half.

"But I am very happy about the team and the way they remain cool, a quality you need in football."

Taken from the Herald

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