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Foundation to be built on
Published : 31 Jul 2011 09:51:18
Hearts want to rub salt in United's Europa League wounds Jim Jefferies wants to build on the first game of the season where a point was picked up at Ibrox. Today Dundee United will visit Tynecastle after Hearts scored a vital away goal in their 1-1 draw in their Europa League third qualifying round first-leg fixture with Paks on Thursday night. Jefferies said: "The secret is if you pick up points against the Old Firm then you have to handle everybody else right. United had a tremendous season last time and pushed us close for third place. They have lost one or two (players) but have recruited well, a bit like ourselves, and this is going to be another tough match. We are coming into the game off the back of a European tie in Hungary which is never easy but we just have to handle it. United might have been in the same boat but were unfortunate to go out to a decent side. This will be another tight match and both teams will be eager to put on a good show. Hopefully we can follow up the good work from Ibrox and take another confidence boost by producing most of the form we showed against Rangers." David Obua was on hand to score the goal against Rangers as Hearts took a first-half lead last Saturday. His goal came from a Danny Grainger corner and the Ugandan revealed he was acting under the instructions of Hearts goalkeeper Marian Kello. He said: "We were trying to find a way of beating the zonal marking and Marian told me I should take up the position I scored from. He insisted it was a good position to come in from and attack the ball and to be fair to him that is what happened. It was great to see it go in and while we could have won the game I'm pleased we got a point in the end." Dundee United midfielder John Rankin is looking forward to heading back to Edinburgh and will take it as a compliment if he is the subject of abuse from Hearts fans. Rankin joined United from Hearts' rivals Hibs over the summer and anticipates he will be the subject of some colourful language from the home support. He said: "I'm not really that fussed. If they dish out abuse or they don't, I'm not bothered. If you're getting abuse from the crowd you're always doing something right. It will happen at Easter Road and Tynecastle. I'm not really bothered. I'm big enough and ugly enough now to realise it happens and how it comes about. I'm looking forward to it as well. There's nothing wrong with a bit of banter on the football pitch. Tynecastle always is a hostile atmosphere. The boys are looking forward to it and getting going." Rankin has always enjoyed playing at Tynecastle, where United will seek a first win of the season and an end to Hearts' unbeaten start. He added: "It's always one of my favourite grounds. Everyone likes playing at Tynecastle. It's got a great atmosphere and the crowd are on top of you. I'm looking forward to going back there. It's just one of those grounds you're desperate to go and play at, a traditional Scottish ground. It's always a difficult place to go at the best of times, but they're playing off the back of a great result and it's their first home game of the season so they'll be desperate to prove a point. It's just nice to be back playing, to get that buzz again. I just want to play as many games as I can. I didn't play much last year, that was a frustrating time. I'm just enjoying my football and enjoying loving playing again."