London Hearts Supporters Club

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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Chris Sampson auth-> Eddie Smith
25 of 039 Michael Stewart 62 L SPL A

Heart of Midlothian look sound proposition for Europa spot

Dundee United 0 Heart of Midlothian 1
Chris Sampson at Tannadice

When the SPL campaign finishes, every manager reflects on certain moments in their respective seasons that defined their campaign and Saturday’s victory over Dundee United could be that moment for Heart of Midlothian.

Csaba Laszlo’s side opened up a five-point gap between United and themselves in third spot as they both attempt to gain entry into next season’s newly formed Europa League, Michael Stewart’s only goal of the game ensuring a vital victory for the Edinburgh team.

This year has seen one of the closest races for a place behind Rangers and Celtic and Hearts have surprised many, including themselves, after their colourful manager revealed at the beginning that his main aim for his team was to compete for a place in the top six.

Last year, the Tynecastle side had a turbulent campaign before Vladimir Romanov, their controversial owner, appointed the Hungarian. They had to make do with finishing that season in the bottom six, which subsequently meant that Stephen Frail was relieved of his caretaker manager’s position.

However, with Laszlo, Hearts have found stability on and off the field and this is being proven with their results. Granted, they have not been convincing in every match, but Laszlo has instilled a winning mentality combined with team spirit into their play and Hearts are in third place purely on merit.

“I think altogether this was a big success from my team,” Laszlo said. “At the moment I don’t look at the points and the table. I am sure with this spirit and football we play we can reach the top six. After that we will see what happens.”

There is no doubt that their owner’s smart decision to stay away from team affairs is paying dividends for the once-shambolic team that suffered heavily from the Lithuanian’s constant interfering.

Stewart’s goal in the second half ensured that Hearts extended their lead in their quest for European football and the midfield player has lavished praise on his manager’s enthusiasm and drive for success.

“You only have to look at his passion for us to be successful,” Stewart said. “He’s an infectious character and from the first moment we met him we knew what was lying ahead for the team. It’s been very pleasurable working for him so far.”

One thing is for certain. Should Hearts continue this form for the remaining 11 games, they will seal third place in the Premier League and at the end of the season Romanov’s shrewd decision to appoint Laszlo will have proved a masterstroke.

Dundee United (4-4-2): L Zaluska 6 – M Kovacevic 6, L Wilkie 7, D Dods 6, D Grainger 6 (sub: P Dixon, 71min 6) – P Caddis 6, P Buaben 6, M Gomis 6, J Wesolowski 7 (sub: C Conway, 65 6) – W Feeney 6 (sub: J Daly, 77 7), F Sandaza 7. Substitutes not used: M McGovern, S Dillon, D Robertson, A Shala. Booked: Caddis, Feeney, Kovacevic, Conway.

Heart of Midlothian (4-5-1): J Balogh 7 – R Neilson 7, E Jonsson 6, K Karipidis 7, L Wallace 6 – D Obua 7, R Palazuelos 7, M Stewart 7, B Aguiar 7, A Driver 7 – A Mrowiec 6 (sub: D Cesnauskis, 83 6). Substitutes not used: M Kello, S Mikoliunas, J Thomson, C Elliot, R McGowan, S Husband. Booked: Wallace, Neilson. Referee: E Smith Attendance: 8,529

Taken from

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