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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Robert Martin auth-> Calum Murray
17 of 023 ----- L SPL H


ROBERT MARTIN at Tynecastle
CSABA LASZLO felt his team dominated — Mixu Paatelainen reckoned his side could have nicked it.

Christos Karipidis claimed Hearts created far more chances. Jonatan Johansson thought Hibs had by far the better ones.

The only thing they all agreed on was that in this capital derby both clubs ended up firing blanks at the worst possible time.

And what that left us with at Tynecastle was an enthralling clash that promised much but ended up providing very little.

Not that this was a bad game. Far from it. You couldn’t take your eyes off it for a second.

Christophe Berra was superb, as was Eggert Jonsson. Sol Bamba was a huge presence for Hibs in midfield while Chris Hogg was solid at the back.

But what the game got from them in terms of passion and commitment it sorely lacked from those asked to have calm heads in front of goal.

Christian Nade, with one goal in 20 games this season, hit the bar and the post yet NEVER looked like scoring.

Steven Fletcher went one-on-one with Janos Balogh and blasted the ball straight against the keeper. Gary Glen did rattle the top of Yves Ma-Kalambay’s bar with one of the few moments of genuine quality in the game.

But with a long way to go you could tell this was heading for a goalless draw — and so could Jambos boss Laszlo.

He desperately needs Vladimir Romanov to sanction a move for a proven goal getter before the transfer window slams shut.

Nade actually had a very good game here but ISN’T a goal threat and Hearts have now failed to score in their last three games.

And Karipidis, who played through the pain barrier after picking up an early ankle injury and left the ground on crutches, admits it is a concern.

He said: “If you want to win you must score so I hope we will start scoring goals again soon.

“The papers say we want to bring in some strikers but the manager must talk about this and decide what we need.

“The important thing is we are making good chances.

“At some times against Hibs we had bad luck because we hit the crossbar two times and the post.

“But I’m happy because we were much better than Hibs and everyone saw this.”

Laszlo, though, was forced to admit there is no point having a lot of chances if there is nobody there to stick them away.

Nade flicked a Robbie Neilson throw on to the bar and saw a shot come back off the post but missed even better opportunities to hit the target.

And Laszlo said: “If you don’t have the killer instinct you can create 20 MILLION chances and not score.

“This game could have ended 6-4 but we didn’t score. Midway through the second half we put a lot of pressure on and if we had scored would have killed Hibs.

“It is no secret we need someone who can score. The window is open and I have given my plan to the club and the board and I now hope they will be active.”

That meant Hibs left Gorgie the happier of the two sides even if their fans let them down by marring a tribute to George Miller before the game.

Hearts fans were little better by choosing to abuse Dean Shiels at every opportunity, with both incidents leaving a bad taste.

Paatelainen chose to hand Johansson a debut on the right hand side of midfield as part of an attacking line-up designed to test Hearts on the counter attack.

And on more than one occasion his brave move paid off with Fletcher missing the best chance of the game when he shot straight at Balogh in the 74th minute, as Johansson acknowledged.

He said: “We had chances to win it near the end and our counter attacks worked quite well.

“When we got the ball to our strikers’ feet they created some really good chances.”

The sides, of course, do it all over again at Easter Road on Sunday in the Scottish Cup.

A draw there is no good to either side and although Laszlo will have players back from suspension Paatelainen knows there isn't a great deal he can do to change the Jambos approach.

He said: “Hearts are physical but I knew that before. They play their system every time — and they do it really well.

“But when our passing is up to the standard I require then I feel we can pass the ball around them and cause them problems.”

The Sun

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