Preview: Hearts (a)

Last updated : 02 March 2009 By Firparkcorner

Mark McGhee certainly thinks Hearts are still catchable but made it clear we need to win this match to have a chance. That is probably true but more realistically our best target this season is probably fourth and even then we need to secure our top six place first. With that in mind a draw, barring remarkable circumstances, is more a point gained than two dropped.

Scott and Mark on the job

Hearts beat us at Tynecastle on the opening day and scored three goals despite not having any strikers. Remarkably they still haven't sorted their forward line but that fact simply highlights how solid the rest of the team is. Several players chip in with goals and the defence is solid. It is highly unlikely they will hammer us but they will exert a lot of pressure and we will need to watch out for long shots and free kicks. If they get in front they will be hard to peg back.

On the other hand, despite their good league form a recent home draw with St Mirren and cup defeat to Falkirk shows they are not invincible. It is definitely possible to frustrate them and if we get the first goal we could be onto a good thing.

We have a healthy squad to choose from and though Quinn is suspended, McLean did not bad at right back in Inverness. He is in for a much tougher test here though and will need to be at his best not to be caught out. It would seem logical to bring in Fitzpatrick or Lasley (or both?) in an attempt to protect the flanks but that would probably mean dropping Sutton to fit Clarkson into the attack. It is unlikely long balls will bring us success against this defence so Clarkson's movement is definitely needed.

This looks like being a closely fought game but if we play the way we can we have little to fear. A 1-1 draw would be a more than satisfactory result.