MATCH PREVIEW | Hearts vs Saints

Friday 9th February

Full Interview with Tommy Wright: https://youtu.be/ryFGRenYTMQ

Tomorrow, Saints head for Tynecastle Park for the second Saturday in succession as they face Hearts in the fifth round of The William Hill Scottish Cup.

Despite narrowly coming up short in last week’s league encounter, the players gave a strong account of themselves in the 1-0 defeat and Saturday provides an opportunity for Saints to advance to the last eight of a competition which proved so fruitful for them in 2014.

After their clash last Saturday, the Saints boss has highlighted Jambos frontman Kyle Lafferty as the likely dangerman for Craig Levein’s side:

“We can probably expect something similar to their second half performance where they tried to play a higher tempo and got the ball forward early to Lafferty and played off of him. It will be the fourth time the two sides have met so we know each other pretty well and we know what to expect from them. They have quality players and will look to play off Lafferty quite a bit so we’ll be prepared for that.”

The short run of fixtures that Saints have been dealt has led to a handful of injuries for the team and Tommy provided the latest update on his squad’s status:

“Unfortunately, Stefan [Scougall] is going for a scan today on his knee and ankle with the latter probably the biggest concern.

“Liam Craig hurt his hamstring on Monday. We’re thinking that’s only going to be days rather than weeks but he’ll certainly be out.

“Brian Easton is starting to make good progress. David McMillan is probably looking at being back for Ross County while George Williams will join the group tomorrow but he won’t be ready for Saturday and Calum Hendry is still out.”

Skipper Joe Shaughnessy has insisted the importance of Saints keeping their heads held high despite results not going their way in weeks past:

“There’s no point being doom and gloom about it all, we’ve got games we know we can go out and win” he said.

“It’s not been happening for us in the last couple of games but it’s just a case of going out and doing it – only we can get things back on track.

“It’s nice to have a break from the league. It’s just a one-off game where you can go and try to get a result. It will certainly give the lads a lift if we can go and get a positive result.”

As Wright alluded to, this Saturday’s fixture will be the fourth instance of Saints and Hearts meeting this season. Saints will be keen to find the net against a team in which they’ve yet to score against this campaign. Two 1-0 wins for Hearts came either side of a 0-0 draw at McDiarmid Park in December.

MATCH PREVIEW BY GARY PETERSEN

Saints will be backed by over 1,000 fans tomorrow and supporters are reminded that tickets are required to gain entry but won’t be on sale at Tynecastle. The McDiarmid Park Ticket Office will therefore open on Saturday morning between 10am and 11.30am for late sales. Supporters unable to get to the ticket office should call 01738 455000 between those hours and purchase over the phone and the tickets can then be collected from the club’s Supporter Liaison Officer Beverley Mayer at Tynecastle.