Hearts V Aberdeen at Tynecastle Stadium : Match Preview

23 August 2013 03:31
Hearts V Aberdeen - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Hearts stars on behaviour warning

Hearts midfielder Scott Robinson has revealed Gary Locke's squad are under orders from the manager to be on their best behaviour.

The administration-hit Edinburgh club have been banned from signing new players and fined 15 points for breaching insolvency rules.

A positive start to the season that has seen them pick up four points from their first three games has been tempered by a knee injury that has ruled experienced campaigner Ryan Stevenson, 28, out for seven weeks.

With just two other players aged older than the squad average of 22 - goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald and utility-man Jamie Hamill - Locke can ill afford to lose any more players from his fresh-faced first team.

And for that reason, anyone collecting petulant cautions and suspensions will be severely punished.

Robinson said: "We can't afford any injuries right now or suspensions. We've been told to cut out stupid things like picking up yellow cards for talking back to the referee.

"We need everyone available with the squad being so small.

"The gaffer had a meeting with us at the start of the season and spelled out that if anyone gets booked for kicking the ball away or talking back to the ref they will be fined."

Stevenson injured knee ligaments in the 1-0 Edinburgh derby win over Hibernian two weeks ago but could be back in time for the busy festive period.

"We're missing Ryan right now, he's a big character for us," said Robinson, before joking: "He can be like a new signing coming back in when he's fit again. We can't sign anyone right now so he can be our new addition in January."

Hearts welcome Aberdeen to Tynecastle on Saturday hoping to chip away at another chunk of their points deduction.

They earned a point last week against Partick Thistle when Walker struck two minutes from time to immediately cancel out Aaron Muirhead's late penalty for the Firhill hosts.

And Robinson says the strong bond forged by the club's off-field troubles will again be crucial against the Dons.

He said: "Everyone is buzzing after we managed to get off to such a good start. Friday night was crucial. Last season, I don't think we would have got that goal late on.

"Having lost the penalty so near to the end, heads would have dropped a year ago but there is a lot of team spirit this year and that will help us against Aberdeen."

Meanwhile, Aberdeen striker Niall McGinn insists he does not care if one of his colleagues beats him to the top of the Reds' scoring charts so long as the Dons continue to notch up victories.

The former Celtic winger was converted into lethal frontman by former Pittodrie boss Craig Brown following his arrival in the Granite City last season and repaid the ex-Scotland manager's conviction with 21 goals.

The Northern Ireland international has already opened this season's account with a double against Motherwell in the second of Aberdeen's two opening Scottish Premiership victories.

But the signs are that he will not have to shoulder so much of the scoring responsibility this term following new manager Derek McInnes' dramatic overhaul of the Dons squad

Jonny Hayes, Willo Flood and Mark Reynolds are already off the mark and McGinn stressed the name on the score sheet is not important to him.

He told Red TV: "It's a new place for me to be renowned for scoring goals, so I'm just enjoying my football, which is the main thing.

"It's always nice to see the other boys chipping in with goals but the main thing is to get the wins. We have got the first two league wins under our belts and we just need to kick on and get the consistency into our games."

Goalkeeper Jamie Langfield is suspended for the Jambos clash after being sent off against Celtic.

Nicky Weaver will continue to deputise after replacing Langfield midway through the 2-0 defeat by the champions.

Barry Robson and Chris Clark remain out with knee injuries but Andrew Considine is edging closer to a return from a broken leg.

Source: PA

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