Preview: Hearts (a) Scottish Cup R4

Last updated : 10 January 2008 By Firparkcorner

The opening of the Scottish Cup to the 'big teams' always provides a day to savour. The dream of a trip to Hampden is open to all regardless of whether they join the competition in the first or fourth rounds.

Last time at Tynecastle

This game will have a special significance and it will be marked at the start by the Motherwell players and supporters pausing before the kick off to unite in thought for our missing club captain. A few brief tears will be shed but when the whistle blows both teams will give their full concentration to the task in hand - reaching the fifth round.

Training started at
Fir Park last Sunday and we can only hope that the poor weather has not interfered too much with the preparations. The manager would seem to have no difficulty in selecting a team, Lasley will surely join Hughes in the middle of the park, but the trick will be to maintain a level of performance which compares with the sparkling show that dismantled Dundee United on that horrible day at Fir Park.

Our hosts have their own difficulties at the moment. They have played nine games without a win and they must be hoping that a break from league action will produce a change in fortune. They also need to hope that their disciplinary record improves, four red cards in the last two games suggests that their latest manager has some work to do if they are to have an upturn.

For once, there is more at stake in this game than the result. We will be happy to see the team in action once again and delighted if the performance confirms that we can reach the dizzy heights that have thrilled us so often this season. Winning would be a bonus but a 1-1 draw would send us home happy.

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