Hearts welcome back Driver

Posted Thursday, August 27, 2009 by PA

Andrew Driver will return to the Hearts squad for Thursday night's Europa League play-off round second leg against Dinamo Zagreb.

The winger has missed the start of the season with a heel injury but will be on the bench at Tynecastle.

Defender Marius Zaliukas returns in the midst of his domestic ban, captain Michael Stewart is also available after suspension, but Laryea Kingston (knee) is still missing, while Calum Elliot (knee) and Eggert Jonsson (hernia) are now long-term absentees.

Manager Csaba Laszlo confirmed defender Craig Thompson will start in place of Jonsson, with fellow 18-year-old Gordon Smith in line to replace striker Elliot.

Meanwhile, Laszlo admitted he has lost his battle with Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov to sign a striker before the transfer window closes.

The Jambos manager vented his frustration last week that he was not being given the funds to bolster his forward line, hinting he might walk away from Tynecastle if his demands were not met.

But he revealed on Wednesday he had been told he would have no more money to spend and would have to rely on the club's young players this season.

Laszlo insists he is happy to do so, as long as he gets the time to nurture this talent into Hearts' next star names.

"We won't get any more players," said Laszlo, who has been stalling on signing a new contract.

"We must play with the people that we have and we must introduce more and more young players in the team.

"If the club decides this, I also accept it. I don't have any problem with it."

That is despite Laszlo's injury problems deepening this week with the news Elliot will be out for eight weeks with a knee problem, while full-back Jonsson has been ruled out for six weeks with a hernia.

While accepting the restrictions placed on him, Laszlo has told his paymasters he cannot work miracles with the squad he has.

He said: "If the club give me the time, I am happy to do this. If the club don't give me the time, I can't do anything.

"The club have told me, 'This is what we want', and I hope the club give me the time to finish my work with these young people.

"I don't have any problem if we are together. But I don't like this. You work, you work, you work and afterwards maybe some results are not okay."

Laszlo insisted his targets for the season - a top-six finish in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and two good cup runs - remain the same.

But he warned Hearts, who finished third last season, could end up as low as 10th with the players he has at his disposal.

"I don't change my mentality, this is not possible," he said. "You can bring me to surgery maybe and afterwards I am someone else!

"I know what it is to work with a young team, you have a lot of up and down, up and down, you don't have the stability.

"I don't know if we will be second, third, eighth, ninth or 10th. Our target at the moment is to come within the best six."

No matter what team he fields against Dinamo, Laszlo will demand they make amends for last Thursday's 4-0 humiliation in Croatia.

"We must give something back to the fans," said Laszlo.

"I don't say, 'You can't lose', but we must be better.

"If we score five goals from the 80th to the 90th minute, I am not unhappy!

"If we can score goals in the first half, we definitely have hope."


Attention: Third parties may advertise their products and/or services on our website.7M does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of their contents.
Your dealings with such third parties are solely between you and such third parties and we shall not be liable in any way for any loss or damage of any sort incurred by you.