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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Phil Gordon auth-> William Collum
12 of 021 ----- L SPL H

Hearts and Dundee managers happy with bore draw

Heart of Midlothian 0 Dundee United 0
Phil Gordon at Tynecastle

Craig Levein, the Dundee United manager, said last week that his counterpart at Tynecastle, Csaba Laszlo, was a man after his own heart. The two men who share the same initials produced mirror image sides on Saturday but this form of imitation was a study in limitation – and it could drive the fans away.

The irony is that Heart of Midlothian hosted their biggest home crowd of the season, with 16,442 anticipating an encounter between two teams who seem to be joined at the hip in their pursuit of third place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Perhaps there was too much expectation of sides who had drawn with Celtic and Rangers seven days earlier. The occasion was a let down in terms of entertainment, but that did not seem to bother Levein and Laszlo, who both expressed satisfaction at a point earned, rather than two lost.

The Dundee United manager is impressed by the way the man who is now running his old team has created a structure based on solid defensive foundations. Laszlo started with just one up front, Christian Nade, and when the Hearts manager withdrew his striker just after the half-hour after Nade committed a dreadful challenge on Paul Dixon – yet, somehow, escaped a red card – and threw on David Obua, he was effectively settling for a point with an hour still left on the clock.

The Uganda midfield player is many things, but he is not a striker. Obua failed to finish several chances that Nade might have, and he became the object for the frustration of the home support long before he limped off injured in the 83rd minute.

United were involved in the most exciting contest of this season when they went to Ibrox and drew 3-3 in October. This, however, was the antithesis of that adventure, as Levein later acknowledged. “Having looked at Hearts’ recent matches, the last thing I was going to do was play into their hands,” he said. “They are set up a certain way, to hit on the counter-attack. I was not going to make it easy for them. So we set up a certain way and kept it tight.”

If Jon Daly had found the net with a late header, United might have had all three points. “It was more important not to lose,” Daly said. “This keeps us in touch with Hearts. If we had lost, we would be playing catchup. So, I think we are probably the happier side with the result.”

With a lack of goal action, it was little surprise that the only source of debate was Nade’s crude lunge on on Dixon, and the Hearts forward was lucky that the United left-back did not suffer far greater injury.

“It was a bad challenge,” Daly said. “I don’t know if he [Nade] apologised to Paul. He came to see our manager. It could have really hurt the lad but Paul is a tough guy.”

Levein managed to calm down later. “Christian got a yellow card and he came to see me and apologised at the end of the match, good on the lad,” he said. “I started shouting at him and I should not have done that, so I apologised to him. Willie Collum [the referee] gave me a bit of a dressing down for jumping up and down but he dealt with it and fair enough. I’m just glad that Paul is all right.” Laszlo explained his decision to sin-bin Nade. “A lot of people think I’m a nice guy and have understanding for everything, but I don’t have any understanding for indiscipline,” he said.

Heart of Midlothian (4-2-3-1): J Balogh 7 – R Neilson 7, C Berra 7, M Zaliukas 6, L Wallace 6 – C Karipidis 6, R Palazuelos 6 – L Kingston 6, B Aguiar 7 (sub: M Stewart, 73min), A Driver 6 – C Nade 4 (sub: D Obua, 32 3; sub: D Cesnauskis, 83). Substitutes not used: J McDonald, J Mole, J Thomson, E Jonsson. Booked: Nade, Karipidis.

Dundee United (4-4-1-1): L Zaluska 7 – M Kovacevic 5, L Wilkie 7, G Kenneth 7, P Dixon 6 – W Flood 8, M Gomis 6, D Robertson (sub: D Swanson, 62 5), C Conway 7 – S Robertson 7 – J Daly 6. Substitutes not used: M McGovern, S Dillon, D Grainger, W Feeney, R O’Donovan, P Buaben. Booked: Daly.

Taken from

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