London Hearts Supporters Club

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Long-serving Neilson takes Hearts armband

Ben Rumsby
ROBBIE Neilson has been given the Hearts' captaincy until the end of the season.
The 28-year-old full-back, the Clydesdale Bank Premier League club's longest-serving player, replaces fellow defender Christophe Berra, who joined Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers just before the transfer window closed on Monday.

Neilson, who has been at Tynecastle for more than 12 years, wore the armband in Berra's absence during Saturday's 2-0 SPL defeat against Hamilton Accies at New Douglas Park. But he has now been handed it on a permanent basis, with Christos Karipidis named as vice-captain.

Manager Csaba Laszlo told Hearts News: "Robbie has been here a very long time and knows everything about the club. He will do the job until the end of the season. He is respected by the players and supporters and will be a good influence for the young boys. He is our most experienced player and has a lot of qualities."

News of the captaincy marks an upturn in fortunes for Neilson, who missed a large chunk of last year through injury. He was sidelined for seven months between April and November with a stomach muscle problem and also underwent an ankle operation.

Meanwhile, Adrian Mrowiec is desperate to help Hearts finish the season on a high after playing his first match for five months.

After joining the Gorgie club on loan in September, Polish midfielder Mrowiec managed only two first-team appearances before being forced to undergo knee surgery.

The 25-year-old made his comeback in Tuesday's reserve win over Falkirk and is already targeting a first-team recall.

"It felt good to get back on the football pitch again," Mrowiec told Hearts News Today. "It has been a while, but I'm feeling good and will now work hard to get back in the first team.

"Being out for so long hasn't been easy, but hopefully it is all behind me now and I can look forward to playing in front of the fans again."

As the season enters a vital phase, starting with Saturday's visit of Falkirk in the Homecoming Scottish Cup fifth round, Mrowiec is hoping to do enough to make a contribution to the Hearts cause.

"We are up there in the table and want to progress in the cup," he added. If I can stay clear of injury, I'm hoping to get back in the first team. We have a lot of important matches coming up and it would be great to be involved again."

Taken from the Scotsman

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