We travel to Edinburgh on Thursday night to play Hearts, the Jambos stand in the way of a place in to the Europa League group stage.
We’ve never played Hearts in a proper competition before and yes, the Europa League is a proper competition. Whether you see it as a distraction or an attraction is a different matter. Personally I think we’re in it so we might as well try and win it, and we can.
The last couple of winners have showcased talents of the likes of Aguero, Falcao, Hulk and watching from sidelines Villas Boas so why not Bale, Van der Vaart and Redknapp? It’s clear that quality is needed to win the pot but it’s the sort of quality we have.
Whether our best will be on display from the start on Thursday is open to doubt. Harry’s hinted that it’ll be the second string (Hutton, Bassong, Bentley?) and some kids (Livermore, Rose, Kane?) but the temptation to give some of the A list a run out given the inactivity at the weekend might be overwhelming. I imagine that most of the players will be gagging for a bit of action too. I hope the ‘big’ players get a game and we notch a comfortable win. I suspect in fact that it’ll be a more unfamiliar line up with a close result likely.
Hearts dangers?? Erm, don’t know. John Sutton was signed from Motherwell during the summer and grabbed a couple on Saturday against Aberdeen and an article in The Scotsman describes David Temptleton as a ‘hugely important player going forward.’ The same piece describes Thursday as ‘one of the biggest European encounters in the club’s history’ which suggests there’ll be no shortage of atmosphere.
It’ll be a return to a former club for Joe Jordan who managed successfully at Tynecastle. Seeing him in the dugout may cause a few of the locals to get all misty eyed as they recall finishing runners up under his leadership but let’s hope that the only memories that the word ‘Edinburgh’ will stir up in the future for us will continue to be solely those, good or bad, associated with floppy haired full backs.
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