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Kello: Hearts won't be caught out
Hibernian striker Stokes netted the fastest goal in Scottish Premier League history when he fired past Rangers' Allan McGregor after only 12.4 seconds last weekend. Kello is determined not to be embarrassed in the same fashion at Easter Road tomorrow, whether it be by the in-form Stokes or any of his team-mates. "We must definitely be careful if he has the ball," said Kello, who doubts whether Stokes' record will ever be beaten. "He's not alone in this team. They are a really good team this year, so we must be ready." Kello added of Stokes, who has scored six goals in his last four games: "I think Stokes is a good forward player and he's scored I don't know how many goals. "He's a dangerous player." The Republic of Ireland international's quickfire strike last weekend ultimately proved futile as Rangers romped home 4-1. The result ended Hibs' 12-match unbeaten run in the SPL and was also the first time they had conceded more than one goal in a league game since September's defeat at Hamilton. Kello said: "They were 1-0 up and, after losing two goals, for them it was a new situation, I think. "They were not beaten for 12 games." Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo believes his players can take inspiration from the way Hibs' previously rock solid defence was opened up last weekend. But Kello said of Hearts' arch-rivals: "The dressing room is not thinking about them. We are thinking about ourselves. "We must know what we want to do." Hibs' defeat acted as a reality check to those who claimed they could push the Old Firm all the way in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League this season. But Kello has refused to write off the chances of Rangers and Celtic being split for the first time since Hearts managed it in 2006. "It happened before that Hearts finished in second position," he said. "At this moment, I don't think there is a big gap between the Old Firm and the rest of the league." Neither has Kello ruled out the possibility of Hearts overhauling their arch-rivals this season, a prospect that had looked laughable until two weeks ago. A hat-trick of victories has propelled Laszlo's men up the table and they could move within six points of their third-placed hosts with another win tomorrow. "We play Hibs twice again as well so, if we can beat them twice, we are closer," said Kello. After watching his side languishing at the foot of the table all season, Laszlo thinks a positive result tomorrow will keep them on course for the top-six finish he has be predicting all along. He said: "I hope afterwards we can talk about what we said before the season, that we would like to come to the best six." Of the importance of the derby, he added: "I am not happy if my team loses against another team, indifferent of whether we play against Motherwell or Hibs or Rangers. "I respect like a sportsman my opponent and also I respect Hibs, I respect their manager, I respect their supporters. "But, for me, first I would like to win and I do everything for Hearts. "This is the difference: I love Hearts but I respect my opponents."
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