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Friday May 4 2007
big game
the strain
ou’ll feel
HEARTS will be forced into
a defensive reshuffle for
Sunday’s Euro crunch
against Aberdeen after
Marius Zaliukas was ruled
out through suspension.
The Lithuanian centre-half
collected his sixth yellow
card of the season in the
defeat by Rangers
a fortnight ago and must
now serve a one-match ban.
Caldo says Hearts will fear it’s going to be all over
Zaliukas has been a near
ever-present force since
breaking into the side in the
BERDEEN boss Jimmy
the win they needed to qualify for the Champions
autumn and has established
Calderwood has
League – ending the Dons’ hopes of a UEFA Cup
himself as part of Hearts
kicked off the mind
place in the process.
first-choice centre-half
games ahead of this
Now Calderwood has urged his players to use pairing with Christophe
weekend’s Euro crunch
those painful memories as a motivating factor
for this weekend, admitting that a victory would
by insisting: “All the
bring sweet revenge.
pressure is on Hearts”.
He said: “Tynecastle is a difficult place to go
The Jambos’ win at Celtic Park last
to and, as much as you want the modern grounds,
Sunday has reduced the Dons’ lead in the
Tynecastle is a great stadium and what football
race for third place to just four points,
is all about.
but Calderwood insists the onus is on
“The atmosphere last season was electric and
the home side as the battle for Europe
I am sure it will be again on Sunday.
reaches a critical stage.
“They beat us in a very close game last season to
Victory for Calderwood’s men at
qualify for the Champions League, spoiling our
Tynecastle on Sunday will secure the
UEFA Cup hopes in the process, and it would be
Pittodrie club’s place in next season’s
nice to win this week and repay the compliment.
UEFA Cup, but defeat will reduce their
“We have made life difficult for ourselves, as
advantage to just one point with two
we should have had this wrapped up by now,
matches remaining. The Dons end their
but all credit to Hearts.
campaign against the Old Firm while
“They won at Easter Road and at Celtic on
Hearts face Hibs and Kilmarnock.
Sunday, which is never easy.
Calderwood, however, attempted to
“They have hung in there, but we know what
turn up the heat ahead of Sunday’s
we have to do. We are in a great position – we
big showdown as he claimed: “We
have won on two of our last three visits there.” RULED OUT: Zaliukas
know it will be a cauldron, but all
Aberdeen will go into the match without
the pressure is on Hearts. If they
suspended skipper Russell Anderson, but
Berra. The 23-year-old’s
lose, it’s game over.”
Calderwood added: “Our captain will not be
absence is likely to mean a
He added: “We have it in our
playing, but other players have to step up and
starting place for fellow
own hands and I want to get it
take over his mantle.”
countryman Tomas
finished as soon as possible.
One Aberdeen player who has particular reason Kancelskis, who acquitted
“I watched Hearts on the
to relish Sunday’s showdown is Lee Miller. himself well alongside Berra
television on Sunday and they
The striker re-ignited his career during a loan
looked very impressive. Their
spell at Tynecastle from Bristol City two years
after coming on as an early
big players are fit again and
ago, scoring 11 goals in 23 games.
sub in Sunday’s memorable
they are playing well.
However a permanent deal foundered when
3-1 win over Celtic.
“Maybe being away from home
he opted to join Dundee United instead in
Kancelskis, 31, who
is good for us, too. In my eyes, if it
a £225,000 deal in June 2005.
skippered Kaunas to the
is a draw it is still better for us,
As such he is sure to be singled out for
Lithuanian championship
but I would prefer to win this one
attention by the maroon faithful – though he
last year and is on loan at
and enjoy the last two games.”
insists he is not going to let that bother him.
Tynecastle until the end of
A year ago Calderwood saw
Miller, who scored in the Dons’ 3-0 win against
the season, also partnered
his club’s European dream
Kilmarnock at Pittodrie last weekend, said: “We
the young Scot in the 1-0 win
come crashing down after
now know we can go to Hearts and be positive. over Kilmarnock last month.
a 1-0 defeat at Tynecastle
“It is going to be hard but I am sure that we Meanwhile, Hearts have
in the penultimate match of
can do it.
told Livingston they want
last season.
“I had a great time at Tynecastle and I am sure
A second-half penalty from
I will get a warm reception as usual, but that
19-year-old right back
Paul Hartley was the difference
doesn’t matter.
Jason Thomson to return
between the sides as Hearts got
“The Hearts fans were brilliant to me when I was
to the club following
there and I am looking forward to going back.”
a loan spell at Almondvale.
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