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<-Page <-Team Sun 12 Jul 2009 Alemannia Aachen 4 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Barry Anderson auth-> Marcus Schuller
[A Ozgen 24] ;[B Auer 43] ;[Burkhardt 53] ;[Oussale 72]
2 of 003 Ruben Palazuelos 5 ;Eggert Jonsson 56F A

Alemmania Aachen 4 - 2 Hearts: Costly mistakes rile Hearts boss

Published Date: 13 July 2009
By Barry Anderson
CSABA LASZLO remains satisfied with his players' progress during their pre-season tour of Germany, which concluded yesterday following a 4-2 defeat to 2.Bundesliga club Alemannia Aachen. The result disguised the fact that Hearts' performance, particularly in the first half, was their finest of the four-game trip, giving the management plenty cause for optimism.
David Witteveen, the Austrian striker, looked fitter and more industrious and has clearly benefited from a week of fitness work at the team's Barsinghausen training base. He enjoyed his most impressive performance of the trip. Hearts overall expended greater energy than in their previous tour games and scored twice as a result, although the manager and his coaching staff are concerned by some fundamental defensive mistakes.

Eight goals conceded in four matches would appear to indicate that Laszlo's defence needs attention, but it should be remembered half of that tally was scored yesterday when neither Lee Wallace or Dawid Kucharski participated. Janos Balogh seemed to react slowly at Aachen's first goal and Laszlo also criticised Eggert Jonsson for what he termed "individual errors".

In general, though, he declared himself pleased with the effort expended in games against Goslar, Slask Wroclaw, St Pauli and Aachen. "We know at the moment we must build a team," he said. "We did not have Kucharski or Ismael Bouzid (in the second half] yesterday, behind them are Jose Goncalves and Ryan McGowan. We must find which pair works better together. It was not very good what they did in central defence, that was the biggest point from yesterday.

"We had an hour with midfield controlling the game. In the first 35 minutes we could have scored two, three or five goals. We had three very good chances, but this is the preparation."

Laszlo added that losing three of the first four summer matches was nothing to prompt panic. His philosophy is to pay little attention to scorelines with the squad less than two weeks into their pre-season schedule.

"At the moment I don't look at which results we take," he continued. "We have had a week at the training camp and for one and a half weeks now we have worked with the team. In the second half yesterday everybody was tired. In the first half we played good football but there was a big mistake from Balogh and after an individual mistake from Eggert. We came back into the game and again there was a very child-like mistake in defence."

Aachen narrowly missed promotion to Germany's Bundesliga last season and carried particular threat from wide areas in front of an impressive 2000 crowd in Baesweiler. Present in the stand was Hearts' director Sergejus Fedotovas, who saw his team score after just five minutes when Calum Elliot sprinted to the byline and clipped a tantalising cross over keeper Thorsten Stuckmann for Ruben Palazuelos to head home.

Moments later Witteveen's venomous header from Michael Stewart's angled cross forced Stuckmann into the air to tip the ball for a corner. At that point Hearts were in command and playing with authority, but Aachen began asserting themselves on proceedings midway through the first half and equalised on 24 minutes, when Abdulkadir Ozgen's header arced away from Balogh.

Benjamin Auer then headed wide and only Ryan McGowan's presence prevented the same player converting after Mirko Casper had exposed Hearts' offside trap. The second goal was imminent and duly arrived two minutes before the interval. Jose Goncalves' interception sent the ball for a corner and, from the resultant cross, Auer scored from six yards with several maroon jerseys failing to clear.

Aachen's pace and mobility out wide was especially problematical but Jonsson scampered forward from right-back to prod home an equaliser just seven minutes into the second half. The Icelandic internationalist supplied Witteveen with a through ball and the Austrian chose to square his pass rather than shoot. Arriving on hand was Jonsson for a finish high into the net.

If Hearts were supposed to resume control thereafter, someone forgot to tell their defence. Within 60 seconds the Germans restored their advantage as Thorsten Burkhardt nodded a cross by Aimen Demai away from Balogh. The fourth arrived via substitute Herve Oussale, who was permitted time and space by Goncalves on the run to dispatch a left-footed effort low beyond Hearts' substitute goalkeeper Jamie McDonald.

In truth, Aachen should have scored a fifth during the final minutes but Markus Daun succeeded only in diverting Patrick Milchraum's cross over the bar.

Laszlo remained upbeat afterwards. His positive approach is likely to be crucial over the coming weeks as he strives to mould such a young group of players into a team capable of challenging in the Scottish Premier League. In that respect, he believes the six-night stay in Germany was entirely worthwhile.

"You saw the first game. Then came the Polish team, who played very well against us. St Pauli was a good opponent, but I am worried about too many individual mistakes. Everybody looked only for himself and this is not okay. We had a mistake from Kello against St Pauli, now yesterday was Balogh and Eggert Jonsson. Against the Polish team it was Mrowiec. We must be better in this direction."

Alemannia Aachen Stuckmann, Polenz (Milchraum 30), Auer (Kratz 72), Burkhardt (Oussale 68), Demai (Junglas 60), Muller (Korte 78), Olajengbesi (Szukala 46), Fiel (Lasnik 78), Casper, Achenbach (Schattner 78), Ozgen (Daun 46). Sub not used: Unger.

Hearts (4-4-1-1): Balogh; Jonsson, Bouzid, McGowan, Goncalves; Suso, Stewart, Palazuelos, Obua; Elliot; Witteveen. Subs: McDonald 58 (for Balogh), C Thomson 73 (for Bouzid), J Thomson 46 (for McGowan), Glen 58 (for Witteveen), Black 57 (for Palazuelos), Novikovas 62 (for Elliot), Mrowiec.

Referee: Marcus Schueller.

Taken from the Scotsman

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