London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sat 28 Feb 2009 Dundee United 0 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Courier ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Ian Roache auth-> Eddie Smith
9 of 039 Michael Stewart 62 L SPL A

Tangerines turn to Hearts great

By Ian Roache

DUNDEE UNITED have turned to the ace of Hearts to try to trump the Jam Tarts at Tannadice tomorrow.

Legendary Tynecastle striker John Robertson, who found the net 271 times for the Edinburgh club, has been recruited by United boss Craig Levein to give coaching tips to his frontmen ahead of the fourth versus third SPL clash.

The pair, of course, know each other well from their time together at Hearts and Robertson is merely helping out an old pal.

However, it is still fascinating that advice from him could give United an edge in what promises to be a mouthwatering clash at Tannadice.

“I asked Robbo in to help coach the strikers this week,” said Levein.

“I went away to work with the defenders and just left him to get on with it.

“It is good for him to stay involved in the game and it is good for my players as well.

“He is a good lad and a very good coach so instead of listening to me every day this has given them a nice wee change.

“It is good for them to hear a different voice from time to time and some fresh ideas.

“I don’t kid myself on thinking I am an expert in everything.

“There have not been many better goalscorers in Scotland than John, so working with him can only benefit my players.”

One man ready to turn Robertson’s tips into goal threat on the park is striker Francisco Sandaza, with Levein believing the best is yet to come from the Spaniard.

“Fran is clear of injury now and he is looking more like himself on the training ground,” said the Tannadice boss.

“If he can get a run at it I think there is plenty more to come from him between now and the end of the season.

“Fitness is the key to it. He is at a reasonable level of fitness now and in this country that is important.

“There is a lot of running in our game and when that is the case being fit is what gives you the clarity of thought inside the box.

“When you are tired you don’t think the same.

“But this is as good as Fran has looked for a while and I am really pleased with him.

“He is really sharp in the box and anyone who has watched him can see how much talent he has, so if he stays fit I am expecting fireworks from him between now and the end of the season.”

United are to send midfielder Danny Swanson for a scan on the knee he injured in the midweek reserve match against Rangers.

“The physio thinks he has damaged medial ligaments so we will have to get him scanned to make sure,” said Levein.

“We don’t think it is major but he is still in some pain and until we get the scan done we won’t know how bad it is.

“We will get it arranged for him and hope that things work out as best as possible.

“Paul Caddis also missed training with a little knock but we will wait and see how he is.”

Meanwhile, Hearts boss Csaba Laszlo insists he was behind the “logical” decision not to offer contracts to Arunas Klimavicius and Graham Barrett despite his selection problems.

Former Falkirk striker Barrett and defender Klimavicius ended unsuccessful trial spells earlier this week.

Laszlo is short of strikers for the United match, with Christian Nade suspended, Gary Glen doubtful, Mike Tullberg still absent with a thigh problem and Calum Elliot struggling for confidence.

Hearts also played without a recognised central defender during last weekend’s 1-1 draw with St Mirren.

Marius Zaliukas picked up a four-game ban following Christophe Berra’s departure for Wolves, while Christos Karipidis has been ill.

The decision to let trialists Klimavicius and Barrett leave prompted accusations majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov is pulling the strings, but Laszlo maintains no decisions are taken without the input of himself or sport director Anatoly Korobochka.

“Barrett is a good football player and I asked him if he would like to wait a little bit because we have Tullberg and information that he will come back next week,” said the Jam Tarts boss.

“We are humans and we are created from logic, not emotions. I want to think with logic, and not with emotion.

“This was also the reason against Klimavicius. The emotion is that you need somebody, but then there is the logic that it might not be natural for 12 games, if you have Zaliukas and Karipidis.”

Laszlo then addressed the Romanov question, adding, “I read in one newspaper that I am no longer in charge of Heart of Midlothian.

“In six or seven months, Mr Romanov has not made a decision behind my back.

“He asks me and I make a decision. Afterwards, maybe he calls me back or calls Anatoly back and we discuss it, but he doesn’t tell me, ‘We must do this.’

“I try to think with logic, even though I am full of emotion and I’m sometimes crazy.

“If you don’t have quality players, you can’t deliver quality football.

“When I take a player, he must have three characteristics: he must be fast; he must have character; and he must have the will to improve.”

Taken from The Courier

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