McGlynn warning to Hearts players

Hearts manager John McGlynn has warned his team to play the game and not the occasion when they face Liverpool on Thursday.

Last Updated: 22/08/12 at 18:00 Post Comment

McGlynn: We must not get caught up in the hype

McGlynn: We must not get caught up in the hype

Hearts manager John McGlynn has warned his team to play the game and not the occasion when they face Liverpool in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Hearts are looking to produce a far better show than at the same stage last season, when they lost 5-0 in their first leg against Tottenham at Tynecastle.

Hearts appeared to show their Barclays Premier League opponents too much respect and Spurs were three up inside 27 minutes as the hosts sat off them.

McGlynn took over from Paulo Sergio this summer amid huge cutbacks to the squad, with an experienced spine to the team complemented by many of the youngsters who restored some pride with a goalless draw at White Hart Lane.

And the former Raith Rovers manager will attempt to make sure his players are not star-struck when they face Liverpool in Edinburgh.

"That could well be what happened last year," McGlynn said.

"There's a great atmosphere and occasion and before you realise it you've lost two goals.

"That's the difficulty so we've got to get across that we don't get caught up in the hype, really focus on the job.

"The noise is going to be great so when you're talking to your team-mates, you have to make sure the information gets through."

McGlynn's task will be to strike a balance between exploiting home advantage and ensuring they do not have another meaningless trip to England.

"We need to make sure we make it difficult for Liverpool and make them a bit nervous," he said.

"We have to strike a balance between not being too cavalier but at the same time causing them a threat.

"We have to be very much switched on for the 90 minutes.

"There will be a great atmosphere but we have to make sure we don't get caught up and are playing the game rather than the occasion.

"We've got a lot of young players so our concentration levels have to be massive."

McGlynn, who hopes goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald will be available after he became a father on Wednesday afternoon, added: "We have got to have flair players who can go at them and take them on.

"We don't want to just sit back and hold fort and hope it's 0-0.

"But if tomorrow night it's Liverpool nil then we'll be in with a chance in the second leg.

"But we'll have to have players on the park who cause one or two problems for them."

Hearts have not signed one player this summer despite losing a full team, including new Scotland midfielder Ian Black and last season's top goalscorer, Rudi Skacel.

Liverpool strengthened recently when Wales midfielder Joe Allen followed former Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers to Anfield for a reported £15million fee and McGlynn has a huge task in bridging the financial gap.

"The only way we can do that is organisation, effort, you hope they take their eye off the ball," he said.

"It's a cup tie scenario that crops up. You've got to look at a team like Shamrock Rovers, who got into the group stages last year, they must have taken a scalp.

"You're looking at playing your absolute best and probably having some luck along the way."

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