Date: 23rd December 2006 at 1:53am
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Hearts manager Valdas Ivanauskas has admitted that Paul Hartley WILL start against Dundee United this afternoon.

Hartley was benched for the visit of Aberdeen to Tynecastle last weekend, a match which Jimmy Calderwood`s side won 1-0.

However, in a press conference yesterday, Ivanauskas admitted that Hartley will be in the Hearts starting line-up at Tannadice.

“We are 24 hours from kick-off, and if Paul is not ill or injured he will start the game,” said Ivanauskas.

“It was positive against Aberdeen (after Hartley came on), but before that there were also many positive chances. Paul scored a goal, or at least had the ball in the net and for me there was a big, big question if it was offside or not.”

The news will come as a big blow to Dundee United, with manager Craig Levein hopeful that the talented midfielder wouldn’t even make it onto the bench for the clash between the two sides.

Although he admitted he was getting his Dundee United players ready for the match, by assuming Hartley and the strongest side Hearts have would make up their starting eleven.

“You just can’t second guess what team they’ll put out so I’ll probably have to prepare on the basis that all their best players will be playing,” said Levein.

“It would be a real plus for us if they left Hartley out. In fact, I hope he isn’t even on the bench because he’s such a good player.”

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3 Replies to “Hartley WILL start against United”

  • Not a shock, just surprised Ivanauskas is giving out team information before the match. Does this mean he’s getting cocky about Hearts’ chances of beating United?

  • i think he’s digging a hole for himself, because what happens when romanov decides he isnt playing afterall? then ivanauskas will look a bit stupid!

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