London Hearts Supporters Club

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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Mike Aitken auth-> Eddie Smith
7 of 039 Michael Stewart 62 L SPL A

Cesnauskis stays upbeat, but will exit Hearts in summer unless he is a regular

Mike Aitken
IT'S A measure of the rapid turnover in personnel over the past three seasons at Tynecastle that only three of the players who started the Scottish Cup final victory over Gretna in 2006 – Robbie Neilson, Bruno Aguiar and Deividas Cesnauskis – remain on the club's books, and the Lithuanian plans to leave Hearts at the end of the season unless he plays more first team football.
While Neilson and Aguiar are regulars whose contracts also expire in the summer, Cesnauskis, 27, has been a bit player for Hearts in the wide midfield positions this season. Andrew Driver and David Obua have established themselves as first choices with Laryea Kingston and Saulius Mikoliunas also ahead of Cesnauskis in the pecking order. It's little wonder the winger has confessed he doesn't see much of a future for himself in Gorgie.

A clever footballer with a powerful shot, it's been Cesnauskis' misfortune during his time with Hearts to be sidelined for the thick end of two years because of injury and illness. This season he's started just one game, a solid performance at Easter Road in the 2-0 win over Hibernian in the Cup, and spent the rest of his time waiting for opportunities to come off the substitutes' bench.

"I'm out of contract at the end of the season and we will see what happens," he said. "I'm not playing enough and maybe in the summer I need to leave Hearts. I don't know where I will go, but not back to Lithuania. I will try something else and we'll see.

"I'm not playing enough and have spoken to the coach (Csaba Laszlo]. My performance is not good enough. So I work hard and try to do my best in training. If I started to play more often, then I would want to stay with Hearts, of course.

"My injury situation is now okay. I've been training for three months. Now I need game practice to show my best. I need the coach to help me with opportunities. I've tried to speak to him and maybe something will change. Situations alter and we need to score more goals.

"This is my fourth year at Hearts and the good times came when we were second in the SPL and won the Scottish Cup. That was the best time of my life. The down time was when I got injured."

A former player with both Dinamo and Lokomotiv in Moscow, Cesnauskis is thought to have attracted the attention of clubs in Russia now it looks as if his time in Gorgie is drawing to a close.

Although Hearts are alarmingly short of both strikers and centre-backs, they're well off for wide men and it would be a surprise if Cesnauskis started the game against Dundee United tomorrow. Whatever the extent of his involvement at Tannadice, the Lithuanian understands the significance of this week-end's meeting between the sides lying third and fourth in the SPL.

"It's a big game on Saturday with both teams going for third place," he added. "I think we now have enough points to stay in the top six, but there will be a big fight for third."

The absence of the suspended Christian Nade, the injured Mike Tullberg and a question mark against the fitness of Gary Glen means Calum Elliot is likely to be handed the lone striking role against United.

The young centre-forward has made three appearances as a substitute since spending the first-half of the season on loan at Livingston. Still only 21, Elliot scored 11 goals in 13 appearances for the First Division side. Laszlo, however, reckons there's a big gap between the divisions. The last time Nade was unavailable, he preferred to use utility player Eggert Jonsson as a striker against Falkirk in the Scottish Cup rather than start with Elliot. This may have been because Elliot faced an unhelpful element of dissent from the club's own supporters last season. "Calum had a very good half season at Livingston but between the Premier League and the First Division, there's a big difference," said Laszlo. "I know that if someone had a problem in the past then we must try to push together. Elliot cannot help us, we need to help him."

After it emerged shorthanded Hearts chose not to offer short term contracts to either striker Graham Barrett or defender Arunas Klimavicius, Laszlo was asked if owner Vladimir Romanov had the final say on those decisions.

"In these six or seven months, did Mr Romanov make decisions behind (my back]?" pondered the manager. "No. This is also something I appreciate very well. He asks me and I make the decision. Sometimes he will phone me back or (sport director] Anatoly (Korobochka] after we discuss and make a decision. But he never tells me I must do this or this. I think this is the secret as to why we have this relationship. What's most important is respect."

Taken from the Scotsman

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