Hearts V Aberdeen at Tynecastle Stadium : Match Preview

07 December 2012 03:31
Hearts V Aberdeen - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Duo in doubt for Jambos

Arvydas Novikovas is doubtful and Darren Barr could also miss out when Hearts face Aberdeen.

Winger Novikovas suffered an ankle injury and midfielder Barr a knock in the 1-0 Edinburgh derby loss at Hibernian. Barr is also suffering from shin splints, which will need to be monitored.

Jason Holt (ankle), Dylan McGowan (hip) and Danny Grainger (knee) will miss out, while Jamie Hamill is continuing his rehabilitation from his knee injury.

Ryan Stevenson believes the onus is on the Hearts players to improve on-field fortunes.

The 28-year-old midfielder left Hearts for Ipswich last January, upset at persistent delays in wages, but returned to Edinburgh in August, despite the threat of more severe financial woes at Tynecastle.

That threat has transpired, but Stevenson is confident action is being taken to stabilise the club and has called for the players to do their bit.

"This time it's been dealt with a lot better by everyone," Stevenson said.

"All I asked for was honesty. That's all the fans ask for. That's what we as players ask for.

"We can't really use what's happening off the park as an excuse now.

"More than anything we need to start stepping up to the plate on the pitch and put the off-field stuff to one side.

"Off the park we're trying to get there and I think we will get there.

"Everyone at Tynecastle from Sergejus (director Sergejus Fedotovas) to David (Southern, the managing director), everyone that's down there is working their tails off to try to make sure the club stays safe.

"It's time we start doing that on the park as well. It's down to the players to produce it on the pitch. We're the only ones who can turn it round."

Teenage winger Ryan Fraser will miss Aberdeen's Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Hearts with a hip injury after rejecting a new contract offer from the Dons.

Fraser has been a revelation this season, despite being hit by a number of niggling injuries, but his contract expires at the end of the campaign.

Brown told Aberdeen's official website: "The club made the player what was the best offer they possibly could and it's very disappointing that he has chosen to see his future elsewhere.

"It was indicated to the club that Ryan believes he is ready to play at a higher level than the SPL and I have to say I think that is the wrong decision.

"He would be far better to continue to learn his trade here with Aberdeen and I only want players here who are 100% committed to Aberdeen Football Club."

Stephen Hughes is nearing a return but Gary Naysmith has suffered a setback in his bid to overcome a calf problem.

Rory Fallon should recover from a dead leg but Ryan Jack, Rob Milsom, Chris Clark, Clark Robertson and Isaac Osbourne remain out.

Source: PA