{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"hearts","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-hold-talks-about-ripping-up-tynecastle-pitch-immediately-1-4370484","id":"1.4370484","articleHeadline": "Hearts hold talks about ripping up Tynecastle pitch immediately","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487444705195 ,"articleLead": "Hearts officials are considering ripping up the Tynecastle pitch as early as next week, the Evening News can reveal.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370483.1487444656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ann Budge, Craig Levein, Ian Cathro and Scot Gardiner meet groundstaff to discuss the possible replacement of the Tynecastle pitch"} ,"articleBody": "

Coaching and management staff are losing patience with the rutted playing surface and are debating whether to replace it immediately. If they decide to go ahead, work could start as early as Monday.

Hearts are due to lay a new pitch this summer as part of their £12m new main stand project. However, they are discussing instant action to remedy the problem between now and the end of the season.

Club owner Ann Budge, chief operating officer Scot Gardiner, director of football Craig Levein and head coach Ian Cathro met groundstaff on the pitch following the 1-1 draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle. They held lengthy talks over what options are available to sort out the threadbare turf.

Hearts' next home game is a week on Wednesday, March 1, against Ross County - meaning any new pitch would have virtually no time to bed in. Club officials will decide over the weekend whether to proceed with a replacement surface, which would cost a significant six-figure sum.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370483.1487444656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370483.1487444656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ann Budge, Craig Levein, Ian Cathro and Scot Gardiner meet groundstaff to discuss the possible replacement of the Tynecastle pitch","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ann Budge, Craig Levein, Ian Cathro and Scot Gardiner meet groundstaff to discuss the possible replacement of the Tynecastle pitch","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370483.1487444656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-1-1-inverness-ct-jambos-left-cursing-walker-penalty-save-1-4370338","id":"1.4370338","articleHeadline": "Hearts 1-1 Inverness CT: Jambos left cursing Walker penalty save","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487437117351 ,"articleLead": "

A penalty save by the Inverness goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams denied Hearts victory against the Scottish Premiership's bottom club.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370337.1487437231!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Choulay tries to evade Inverness defender David Raven on his first Hearts start"} ,"articleBody": "

Jamie Walker's spot-kick was expertly saved by the Welshman low to his left 15 minutes from the end of the 1-1 draw at Tynecastle.

Carl Tremarco headed the Highlanders into a deserved first-half lead, but Arnaud Djoum levelled for Hearts after the interval. Despite increasing pressure on the visitors' goal as the game progressed, those in maroon couldn't force a winner. They now head into Wednesday's Scottish Cup replay with Hibs at Easter Road harbouring a good deal of frustration.

Walker didn't start the match having been rested and the game took time to ignite on a well-documented threadbare Tynecastle surface. It was Inverness who came to life first. Tremarco rose unchallenged inside the Hearts penalty box to head Greg Tansey's free-kick into the net on 24 minutes. That gave the league's bottom side something to fight for.

Tremarco made a vital block to prevent Arnaud Djoum equalising at the opposite end five minutes later. Bjorn Johnsen then struck the crossbar with a deflected effort after an incisive attacking run by captain Perry Kitchen, restored to the Hearts starting line-up by head coach Ian Cathro.

Fon Williams was airborne to tip Andraz Struna's 25-yarder for a corner as the hosts increased the pressure in search of parity. They reached the interval still seeking to break through the rigid Highland rearguard - in which centre-back Louis Laing was enjoying an assured debut.

From the most acute angle, Esmael Goncalves volleyed Choulay's cross against the inside of Fon Williams' right post early in the second half. The Moroccan winger was making his first start since agreeing a loan move from Stoke City and looked a useful attacking outlet.

Inverness were clearly determined to protect their advantage and took every opportunity to break up the play. Hearts introduced Walker and Rory Currie hoping for some fresh invention. On 64 minutes, they forced an equaliser. Kitchen justified his reinstatement to the team by delivering a cross from the left which Djoum tapped into the net at the back post.

The cheers around Gorgie were more of relief than outright joy. There were a few more puffed cheeks moments later when Caley Thistle's lone forward Billy Mckay missed a glaring chance to restore his team's lead from a corner. Clearly, Hearts had much work to do in the remaining 25 minutes.

Again Inverness hit the post when Ross Draper's header from a corner was allowed to bounce across goal and strike the upright before being hoisted clear. Then came the opportunity Hearts had waited for when they were awarded a penalty. Djoum was bundled over by Draper inside the box, but Walker's spot-kick was superbly saved by Fon Williams low to his left.

The goalkeeper stopped shots from Walker, Currie and their fellow substitute Malaury Martin towards the end - thus ensuring Inverness prised a welcome result from this trip to the Capital.

Hearts (4-4-1-1): Hamilton; Struna, Avlonitis, Hughes, Sowah; Djoum, Kitchen, Tziolis, Choulay; Johnsen, Goncalves.

Subs

50: Walker for Johnsen

62: Currie for Choulay

76: Martin for Kitchen

Unused subs: Noring, Nowak, L Smith, Nicholson.

Inverness CT (4-1-4-1): Fon Williams; Raven, Laing, McCart, Tremarco; Draper; Mulraney, Tansey, Polworth, Cole; Mckay.

Subs

62: Doran for Mulraney

80: Anier for Mckay

Unused subs: Hoban, Ebbe, Fisher, Boden, Gilchrist.

Referee: Bobby Madden.

Attendance: 16,372.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson at Tynecastle"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370337.1487437231!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370337.1487437231!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Choulay tries to evade Inverness defender David Raven on his first Hearts start","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Choulay tries to evade Inverness defender David Raven on his first Hearts start","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370337.1487437231!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/maroon-memories-wayne-foster-is-unlikely-derby-hero-1-4368982","id":"1.4368982","articleHeadline": "Maroon Memories: Wayne Foster is unlikely derby hero","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487399451000 ,"articleLead": "

Supporters of Hibs shouldn’t have spent any more time trying to analyse their club’s difficulty in dealing with their local rivals.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368981.1487276492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wayne Foster celebrates with the Hearts fans"} ,"articleBody": "

Hearts’ run of 21 derby matches without defeat was one of those football quirks that defies logic; attempts to apply reason are doomed to failure.

Anyone could have guessed that John Robertson would score his 20th goal against Hibs, but no-one would have been so bold as to wager very much on Wayne Foster’s chances of hitting the winner.

Questioned soon after having struck his late goal – his first-ever goal against Hibs – he was unable to recall his last first-team goal; those possessing local knowledge suggested it was almost two seasons ago.

It all amounts to deeper misery for those who follow Hibs and who watched them come from a goal behind to take command of yesterday’s Scottish Cup fourth-round tie.

Despite the pressure, they did not create enough real scoring chances, while two were plenty for Hearts.

Robertson displayed his predatory cunning after only two minutes when he read Tosh McKinlay’s intentions as the full-back ran on to John Colquhoun’s deep cross from the right.

As McKinlay skipped around a leaden-footed Willie Miller before cutting the ball back, Robertson had already stolen half a yard and was waiting to prod the ball into the net from close range.

A sweetly-constructed goal, but further slick manoeuvres were scarce as the match descended into mediocrity and wild tackling. Six players, three from each side, were booked, but there could have been more.

There also could have been serious injuries, as most of the players displayed a flagrant disregard for the wellbeing of others. After he had lunged into Darren Jackson, the Hearts central defender Alan McLaren, being watched by several clubs, stopped to argue with the player he had fouled while Kevin McAllister sprinted into a depleted defence and shot against a post.

That incident took place just after Keith Wright had scored for Hibs three minutes from the break. He was allowed an astonishing amount of space in which to rise and meet Michael O’Neill’s cross.

It was Gary Mackay who finally got it right for Hearts when a long ball found Foster, who had replaced Robertson in 63 minutes. His speed carried him away from Dave Beaumont, and from just inside the penalty box the substitute clipped the ball under Jim Leighton and into the net.

Foster kept running all the way to the Hearts fans behind the goal, climbed the barrier, and celebrated in some style with his adoring public.

When he returned to the pitch he became the sixth player to be cautioned, but he wasn’t about to let that spoil his moment.

Just after Foster’s goal, fighting broke out between Hibs fans and police in the enclosure opposite the main stand.

Perhaps the police were getting revenge after one of their own was downed in the second half when Hibs’ huge defensive barrier, Steven Tweed, who couldn’t brake in time, bowled over a member of the constabulary.

The fighting provided a distasteful end to an ugly match.

Hibs: Leighton, Miller, Beaumont, Farrell, Tweed, Lennon, McAllister, Hamilton, Wright, Jackson, O’Neil.

Hearts: Smith, McLaren, McKinlay, Levein, Berry, Millar, Colquhoun, Mackay, Robertson, Johnston, Leitch.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Hibs 1, Hearts 2. February 20, 1994"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368981.1487276492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368981.1487276492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Wayne Foster celebrates with the Hearts fans","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wayne Foster celebrates with the Hearts fans","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368981.1487276492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/arnaud-djoum-wants-hearts-to-help-him-add-to-afcon-medal-1-4369806","id":"1.4369806","articleHeadline": "Arnaud Djoum wants Hearts to help him add to AFCON medal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487399400000 ,"articleLead": "

Arnaud Djoum paraded his African Cup of Nations winner’s medal in the Hearts dressing-room earlier this week. Now he is desperate to ensure it is not the only gong at Tynecastle this season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369804.1487350730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "17/02/17 HEARTS TRAINING RICCARTON - EDINBURGH Hearts' Arnaud Djoum"} ,"articleBody": "

The midfielder became a national icon by helping Cameroon win the AFCON 2017 tournament in Gabon earlier this month and returned to Edinburgh to a hero’s welcome.

As Hearts challenge in the Ladbrokes Premiership and William Hill Scottish Cup, Djoum is betting on there being more silverware to show off.

“My medal is at home now. I brought it here yesterday to show to the guys and to the people here but now it is home and I will keep it in a safe place. They asked to see it so I brought it in to show to the players,” Djoum smiled proudly.

“I hope it’s not the only medal we have. We are still alive in the cup and we will do everything to get to the final. We will do everything we can.”

Djoum hurried back to Scotland despite the fact the party in his homeland has still to fully die down. He was desperate to rejoin Hearts and help the quest for success, which continues with this afternoon’s league match at home to Inverness. It’s also considerably safer for the player here than in Africa.

“We cannot walk the street because if people recognise you there will be 50 people round asking for photos and things. It’s really hard but that’s our popularity there.

“The fans went crazy. Normally, it takes 20 minutes from the airport to the hotel but it took us five hours when we arrived home. Everything was closed, the crowd was in the streets and the bus had to drive through the fans. The people were so happy and it’s something big there. Nobody was expecting that from us, even the Cameroon people.”

Even the Cameroonian side of Djoum’s family are being treated like celebrities. “They are very happy and proud because it’s something big for them. Now, when they go in the street and people recognise they are my family, there are always 20 people round them asking questions and things. It’s so crazy and it’s still like this just now.”

Djoum isn’t too carried away to reflect on the fact his life has totally transformed over the last 18 months. Prior to joining Hearts, he spent months without a club after being released by the Polish side Lech Poznan. The move to Tynecastle sparked a rise to prominence which climaxed in Gabon when Cameroon beat Egypt to lift the African Cup of Nations trophy.

“Yeah, in football things can change so quickly,” continued the 27-year-old. “What I have done in a year and a half is something crazy, I could write a book. It’s just crazy, I still don’t believe it. I think later I will realise what I have done and what I will continue to do as well. It has been a big achievement.”

Did he ever feel football had forgotten him during those soulless months spent searching for employment? “Not really. I was always sure I would find something, maybe in the lower divisions, and I would get back, work hard and maybe things will be better.

“I never thought about stopping football because it is my passion, what I want to do, what I like. So I was sure if I worked hard then things would become better. That’s what I did and everything has worked out.”

Despite the intense pressure of trying to win one of world football’s biggest competitions on an entirely different continent, Djoum was determined to keep tabs on every portion of news emanating from Tynecastle. He would have been forgiven for a deep intake of breath when nine new signings arrived while he was away.

“I was trying to follow everything on the internet. I was a little bit surprised because it was a lot of changes,” he laughed. “I didn’t expect that but it’s football. If it’s good for the team, I’m happy about it. Competition is always good.

“It’s normal that you worry a bit about your place but I was confident. With what I did here, I think I get some respect. What I do for the team I think is good. I knew I had to come back and just work hard and things would go well for me. Competition is good to play better football.

“I watched the second half of the Hearts-Rangers game because a supporter put it on Facebook live. I was lucky he did that so I tried to watch it. The team played well and it was a great win so I was very happy.”

His ambition now knows no bounds following the international success. However, Djoum is in no rush to leave Tynecastle, where his contract runs until May 2019. “You want to play at as high a level as possible. You always believe that in the future you can go and play better football, at a better club.

“That’s football but we will see how I am with Hearts. I am enjoying it here, and we will see in the future.”

• Arnaud Djoum was promoting Big Hearts Supporters, which sees Tynecastle fans devote their time to the club’s charity. Over 1250 have signed up so far at www.bighearts.org.uk

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369804.1487350730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369804.1487350730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "17/02/17 HEARTS TRAINING RICCARTON - EDINBURGH Hearts' Arnaud Djoum","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "17/02/17 HEARTS TRAINING RICCARTON - EDINBURGH Hearts' Arnaud Djoum","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369804.1487350730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/cup-can-wait-caley-come-first-for-hearts-and-cathro-1-4369972","id":"1.4369972","articleHeadline": "Cup can wait – Caley come first for Hearts and Cathro","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487399400000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts players are focusing solely on today’s league match with Inverness Caledonian Thistle despite an impending Scottish Cup replay with Hibs at Easter Road.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369971.1487364234!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Ian Cathro"} ,"articleBody": "

Head coach Ian Cathro stressed that his squad cannot afford to look beyond this afternoon’s fixture at home to the Highlanders because points are vital.

The Edinburgh club sit fourth in the Ladbrokes Premiership and are aiming to close in on the top three by beating the league’s bottom side. They head to Leith on Wednesday night for a rematch with Hibs but Cathro has told everyone to ignore that game for now.

“When there is a game with such a spotlight on it, it’s always going to be in the back of everyone’s minds slightly. We aren’t going to lie about that,” he told the Evening News.

“However, there’s no lack of focus on what’s important, and what’s important is the Inverness game. That is the single thing that we are concentrating on right now.

“We’ve brought players together, they’ve had some time now, and they’ve done what I expected, really. We’re going to improve and the defence will continue to improve.”

Midfielder Don Cowie remains an injury doubt due to sore ribs following a collision with Hibs’ Darren McGregor in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Tynecastle.

“We’re looking at that day-by-day. He’s still dealing with a bit of pain. I would say he’s 50/50 to face Inverness,” said Cathro.

The Dundonian also mounted a strong defence of the director of football position following news that Rangers are considering employing someone in that role.

Hearts have worked that structure well since Craig Levein was appointed director of football in 2014. Nonetheless, the role is still viewed with much cynicism across Scottish football.

Cathro has coached in Portugal and Spain and believes the suspicions are beyond belief. “I think we’re obsessed with this idea that the director of football sits in an office which is more grand than the manager, a level above the manager, he looks down on him – and threatens him with evil spirits,” he joked.

“That’s not how it works. I truly just don’t understand why we have this Scottish issue with it. Maybe it’s just not the norm here. In England, certainly in the Premier League, whether or not they have the title, there are people at all the big clubs doing that job.

“It would be impossible to run the operation without it. Impossible.

“Director of football, bullet point one: Managing overall football strategy. That is probably all it is – the management of an overall football strategy for the club.

“Within that there will be recruitment, the academy, staffing, all of those things. The overall strategy, with a business aspect to it as well, is for the director of football.

“Then it’s just normal business, heads of different departments. There is no club or business I’ve ever been involved in that does it differently.

“What causes the confusion, causes the debate that we can’t shake in this country, is the idea that the existence of a director of football somehow dilutes the strength or role of the manager/head coach.

“I’ve never seen that. That’s just not how it works.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369971.1487364234!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369971.1487364234!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts manager Ian Cathro","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Ian Cathro","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369971.1487364234!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-midfielder-don-cowie-an-injury-doubt-for-caley-clash-1-4368874","id":"1.4368874","articleHeadline": "Hearts midfielder Don Cowie an injury doubt for Caley clash","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487313047000 ,"articleLead": "

Don Cowie is an injury doubt for Hearts ahead of tomorrow’s Premiership match with Inverness.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368873.1487268260!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Don Cowie was challenged by Hibs opponent Darren McGregor at Tynecastle. Pic: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

The midfielder is nursing sore ribs after a bruising challenge from Hibs’ Darren McGregor at Tynecastle on Sunday.

Hearts coaching staff are hopeful he declares himself fit but will not risk him if he is not 100 per cent. McGregor was booked for the thumping tackle after 28 minutes of the Scottish Cup tie and Cowie has spent much of this week recovering.

“He’s certainly sore after the challenge, which could’ve been a dangerous one,” said the Hearts head coach Ian Cathro. “He’s been a little bit lucky that nothing major has gone on.

“It was just a strong collision which knocked the air straight out of him, so there’s a bit of pain there. We hope it settles down so that he’s available for tomorrow.”

Cathro admitted being unhappy with the level of Hearts’ performance against Hibs and is eager to see an improvement against the league’s bottom club.

“We want to play better football than we did on Sunday. There were a lot of reasons why we weren’t able to do that. The derby nature, the conditions, the way the game started – these were all factors. We certainly want to play better. I would still say it was a mature performance from our team. We stayed disciplined and defended well and dealt with the game.”

Midfielder Prince Buaben has returned to training after three weeks out with a groin problem. Tomorrow will come too soon for him but he could force his way into contention before the end of the month.

“He’s getting there. It’s still a situation we are managing with him,” said Cathro. “He’s started joining in with us in training again so we think we’ve got to the bottom of it all. He’s now made a recovery and can increase his training.

“He should be over it but I think Saturday might be a bit early. He’s missed a lot of training so we need to give him time to build back up. It’s good to have him training again. He needs to do some work now to get himself up to a level where he can be competing for a place.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368873.1487268260!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368873.1487268260!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Don Cowie was challenged by Hibs opponent Darren McGregor at Tynecastle. Pic: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Don Cowie was challenged by Hibs opponent Darren McGregor at Tynecastle. Pic: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368873.1487268260!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/perry-kitchen-i-ll-fight-my-way-back-in-at-hearts-1-4368522","id":"1.4368522","articleHeadline": "Perry Kitchen: I’ll fight my way back in at Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487313027000 ,"articleLead": "

Dropping captains is becoming a habit at Hearts but the latest victim, Perry Kitchen, refuses to accept a bit-part role.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368521.1487254848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Perry Kitchen is in a sticky situation, but is eager to show his worth to Hearts. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The American midfielder resolved to fight his way back into the starting line-up after being left on the substitutes’ bench for his club’s last two games.

The situation mirrors that of Kitchen’s predecessor as skipper, Alim Ozturk. The Turkish defender found himself dropped by former coach Robbie Neilson at the start of the season and lost the armband a few weeks later. He eventually left Hearts in January. Having only accepted the captaincy from Ozturk in September, Kitchen won’t give it or his first-team place up easily.

He was rested at Motherwell two weeks ago but his omission from the team continued when Hearts met Hibs in the Scottish Cup last weekend. Whether he remains on the bench tomorrow when Inverness Caledonian Thistle visit Tynecastle on league business could depend on Don Cowie’s recovery from sore ribs. Kitchen admits it is an unusual situation, especially after Ozturk’s rapid demotion, but is determined to remain a positive influence within the dressing room.

At any club, the captain generally plays when fit, particularly when that player is also a USA internationalist. The arrivals of Alex Tziolis and Malaury Martin in January provide Hearts head coach Ian Cathro with added strength in midfield alongside the experienced for Scotland internationalist Cowie. Kitchen has no intention of repeatedly kicking his heels on the sidelines, though.

“I have to respect the coaches’ decision and just continue working hard every day in training. Hopefully, that gets me back on the field,” said Kitchen in an exclusive Evening News interview. “It’s ultimately up to Ian and Austin [MacPhee, Cathro’s assistant] what they want to do and who they want to put on the field. It’s also up to me to do my best to make sure I’m there.

“Nobody is happy to sit on the bench. It’s a case of trusting the process, doing your best and hopefully that is recognised and rewarded. I’ve only been in this situation a couple of times as a professional. I was dropped once at DC United and then came back in. It’s obviously different with the national team.

“It’s not happened to me too often. It’s ultimately their decision and I’ll respect it. I’ll do what I can to get back on the field.”

Kitchen spoke to Cathro about the reasons behind his omission for both the Motherwell and Hibs matches. “We had a lot of games in a short period of time. The Motherwell game was our fifth game in 13 days. I talked to Ian about that and he thought it was best to give me a rest there,” explained the player.

“At the Hibs game I was a bit surprised but I respect the manager’s decision. He said that’s what they thought was the best team for the match. That was that. I’ll just keep looking forward and try to get better every day.”

Whether starter or substitute, Kitchen doesn’t view his responsibilities as club captain any differently. He will still be a vocal and encouraging influence in the dressing room before kick-off.

“Nothing changes for me. The reality is I was left out of one game to rest and then one game dropped. I’m still going to be a positive influence on the group and help be a leader for the team. Just because you’re not in the starting line-up doesn’t mean you have to take a back seat. It’s an interesting situation but everything stays the same for me.”

At the back of his mind is next Wednesday’s rematch with Hibs at Easter Road to see who reaches the Scottish Cup quarter-finals. It is sure to be a tense and dramatic night in Leith and Kitchen is desperate to be involved.

“Everybody in the dressing room wants to play in that game. It’s against our biggest rivals at their place so everyone has the same mentality. We all want to be on the field. I’m no different,” he said.

Inverness remain the priority for now as Cathro won’t allow his players to think any further ahead than tomorrow afternoon. The Highlanders are the Ladbrokes Premiership’s bottom club and sit three points adrift of second-bottom Hamilton.

Their last league win was way back on October 26 at Motherwell and they lost 5-1 on their previous visit to Tynecastle in August. Manager Richie Foran certainly doesn’t have his troubles to seek in his first season in charge. Inverness cannot be underestimated, however, as Hearts try to build on wins over Rangers and Motherwell in their last two games. The Edinburgh club still harbour ambitions of securing second place and must close a nine-point gap between themselves and Aberdeen to do so.

“We don’t look at the table, we know it’s not going to be an easy game,” said Kitchen. “Inverness are a team who will come here and make it tough for us to play. They’ll go into challenges and pressure us.”

Then there is the Tynecastle pitch to factor into the equation. The rutted surface may well suit the Inverness agenda, although Cathro explained in this newspaper yesterday how he plans to tweak his gameplan to combat it.

“To be honest, anything can happen at Tynecastle right now with the pitch,” admitted Kitchen. “It’s in a bad situation so we need to bring our ‘A’ game. It’s no secret the pitch is in horrible shape. It’s about finding a way to get a result, no matter what it takes. The ball will take bad bounces but that’s the case for both teams. It’s not ideal but it is what it is. I can’t say that I’ve been on many pitches as bad as that.”

He isn’t one to search for excuses and is acutely aware that he is now at the business end of his first full season in Scotland. If European football is to be achieved, Hearts must find a level of consistency to propel them forwards during vital upcoming games. The Scottish Cup is a welcome distraction for a club keen to achieve on both fronts.

“Look, it’s crunch time. There aren’t too many games to go,” stressed Kitchen. “We obviously have the Scottish Cup to focus on as well. We’re trying to maximise points from every league game we play.

“We’re three wins away from Aberdeen, we still play them twice before the season ends – once in the regular season and once after the split – so the opportunities are there. We need to try and get as close to second place as we can.”

Kitchen intends being back in central midfield long before that issue is settled. His fighting spirit should serve him well in the quest to prove he deserves a starting place.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368521.1487254848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368521.1487254848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Perry Kitchen is in a sticky situation, but is eager to show his worth to Hearts. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Perry Kitchen is in a sticky situation, but is eager to show his worth to Hearts. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368521.1487254848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/edinburgh-city-appoint-jim-jefferies-as-new-sporting-director-1-4368158","id":"1.4368158","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh City appoint Jim Jefferies as new sporting director","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487240587000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh City have appointed former Hearts manager Jim Jefferies as their new Sporting Director.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368157.1487242031!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jim Jefferies will join Edinburgh CIty. Picture; Michael Gillen"} ,"articleBody": "

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Jefferies, who took in the club’s 0-0 home draw with Clyde a week past Saturday, returns to the game after leaving Dunfermline three years ago, stating at the time that it was likely to be his last job in football.

The 66-year-old returns to a city where has enjoyed great success in previous years, famously ending the Jambos’ 36 year wait for a trophy, winning the 1998 Scottish Cup with a 2-1 victory over Rangers at Celtic Park.

Jeffries returned to Tynecastle 12 years later, replacing Csaba Laszlo in January 2010, before leading Hearts to a third placed finish and European football the following season, before he was himself replaced by Portuguese Paulo Sergio.

The former Bradford boss’ role at City will see him liaise with manager Gary Jardine on player recruitment while acting as a sounding board for the management team and committee.

“During my chats recently with the club I’ve been impressed with their ambition and plans going forward and I look forward to helping them in areas which they feel they need support,“ said Jefferies. “I hope my years of experience can help them and I look forward to the challenge.”

Jardine is pleased to have someone with Jefferies’ vast experience to call on. “It’s another fantastic step in the right direction for the club,” he said. “If we have lacked anything as a Club since making the step up it would be experience. Jim coming in gives us that in abundance having been involved at every level of the game in Scotland and that can only improve Edinburgh City and on a personal level myself and the coaching staff.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ROSS PILCHER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368157.1487242031!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368157.1487242031!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jim Jefferies will join Edinburgh CIty. Picture; Michael Gillen","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jim Jefferies will join Edinburgh CIty. Picture; Michael Gillen","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368157.1487242031!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-set-to-tailor-tactics-to-suit-tynecastle-pitch-1-4367720","id":"1.4367720","articleHeadline": "Hearts set to tailor tactics to suit Tynecastle pitch","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487226615000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts are preparing to change tactics for Saturday’s Premiership match with Inverness to combat the rutted Tynecastle pitch.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367718.1487183213!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Tynecastle pitch cut up badly in the derby"} ,"articleBody": "

The uneven surface makes a passing style difficult and head coach Ian Cathro admitted he will be forced to alter his gameplan slightly.

Recent weeks have seen Hearts’ pitch become dry, bumpy and worn out in places. Cathro is keen to encourage a passing game and signed nine players during January to practise that philosophy. 
However, he conceded other methods may be necessary in the short term.

Tynecastle officials will replace the pitch during the summer as part of the main stand rebuilding project. Until then, Cathro stressed his players must adapt their game where necessary.

That will start this weekend when bottom-of-the-table Inverness, who are without a league win since October, arrive desperate for points.

“We have to accept everything that can affect the game and take it into account. We have to deal with the pitch and we have to find the right solutions to be able to win the game,” Cathro told the Evening News.

“It’s very difficult to go against what you do. You believe in certain things, focus on certain things, work on certain things. We will be flexible. We won’t turn black into white but we certainly will adapt bits of how we play to make sure we can be the dominant team and win the game.” Cathro acknowledged that the surface is not helping the ball players in his midfield. “It’s not and we can’t hide from that in any way whatsoever,” he continued. “Ultimately, it comes down to a very simple point: It’s our responsibility to go and work and find a way of winning the game.”

Next season will see a resplendent new pitch and stand in place in Gorgie, eagerly anticipated by the head coach, his backroom staff and players.

“That’s one of the many things we’re looking forward to next season,” he said. “The new stand is an amazing project and we’re looking forward to having a first-class surface to play on inside what will become a top stadium.

“That’s a really exciting thing for me and all the players. The young players in the club’s academy can start to aspire to walk out on to a new pitch inside a new stadium. It will also help with players we might want to join us in the future. It’s a great thing for us to look forward to.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367718.1487183213!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367718.1487183213!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Tynecastle pitch cut up badly in the derby","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Tynecastle pitch cut up badly in the derby","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367718.1487183213!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367719.1487183216!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367719.1487183216!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts head coach Ian Cathro","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts head coach Ian Cathro","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367719.1487183216!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/ex-jambo-ian-baird-to-welcome-arsenal-to-gander-green-lane-1-4367385","id":"1.4367385","articleHeadline": "Ex-Jambo Ian Baird to welcome Arsenal to Gander Green Lane","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487226608000 ,"articleLead": "

From the grandiose Allianz Arena to ramshackle Gander Green Lane.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367382.1487176079!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Baird made 79 appearances for Hearts between 1991 and 1993"} ,"articleBody": "

Arsenal superstars like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil face an almighty comedown after last night’s Champions League exertions in Munich when they travel to non-league Sutton United for Monday night’s FA Cup tie. Former Hearts striker Ian Baird will be waiting with a traditional non-league welcome.

Baird is first-team coach with the Vanarama National League side and revelled in beating his old club Leeds United in the previous round. Arsenal’s visit is a different proposition altogether given their array of international luminaries. Arriving at the 5000-capacity South London home of Sutton United will test the resolve of Arsene Wenger and his Champions League aristocrats, though.

The painted brown walls of the away dressing-room are meek and uninspiring. There is a dustbin in the corner and a fire extinguisher on the wall. On the concrete terracings outside, locals will be baying for blood in the most unusual of London derbies. Bayern Munich’s palatial surroundings will seem an absolute world away and Baird is keen to capitalise should Arsenal feel exposed.

“I’ve been to Bayern Munich’s training ground and to the Allianz. They’re phenomenal,” said the man known as ‘Bairdy’, who scored 19 goals in 79 games for Hearts between 1991 and 1993. “Arsenal are coming to Gander Green Lane, which isn’t Wembley, that’s for sure. We’ll do our best to make sure they’re comfortable in our ramshackle dressing-rooms – which are painted brown, with the dustbin in the corner and a fire extinguisher.

“We’ll treat them with the utmost respect but they’ve got to bear in mind they’re coming to a non-league football ground. That’s where we are. We play in the Vanarama National League. We don’t have the facilities that they’ve got and hopefully those little indiscretions can help us get a result.

“We’ve got an artificial pitch and I’m a bit of a dinosaur on these matters but this pitch is tremendous. For somebody like me to say that, it really is something. We don’t see it as an artificial surface. It’s actually a hybrid [part grass, part astroturf] and it doesn’t cause any injuries at all. We’ve played 45 times on it and won 41 times. It’s not a leveller because Arsenal have a hybrid pitch at the Emirates too, I believe.”

Baird is every inch the FA Cup veteran at the age of 52. He counts Leeds, Newcastle, Southampton and Middlesbrough amongst his former employers but is as excited about Monday night’s tie as any he ever played in. As a traditionalist, it hurts him to see bigger clubs fielding weakened teams in the competition.

“Leeds United came unstuck here. They thought they could come down, make ten changes and still be good enough to beat us. They lost 1-0,” he said. “Over that weekend, the same thing was done by Newcastle and Brighton. They’ve got their reasons, probably financial, but, if I’m being honest, I don’t really understand it. They should treat the FA Cup how it deserves to be treated, which is as the best cup competition in the world. You see sides disrespecting it a little and I’m from the era of players playing two and three games a week. That’s what we did and it didn’t seem to bother us.

“Sutton United have always been quite a well-known non-league side because of what they did to Coventry in 1989. To possibly better that is a tremendous opportunity. To bring Arsenal to Gander Green Lane, given their standing in world football, it doesn’t get any better for us. The FA Cup never loses its magic for non-league clubs. The further you get, the more you benefit financially and that provides stability.”

If Arsenal don’t fancy a Monday night cup battle, Sutton, managed by Paul Doswell, could well mastermind one of the biggest shocks in FA Cup history. “I think you’ve certainly got to have a mindset as a big club going to a smaller club. You’ve got to turn up and be prepared to roll your sleeves up. We’ve taken advantage of everybody who hasn’t done that,” said Baird. “The biggest thing for us will be the occasion but we want to make sure we don’t let ourselves down. From a coach’s point of view, we’ll be hoping we don’t concede an early goal and make it a difficult evening. The longer the game goes without us losing a goal, we’ll feel we have a chance. That’s what happened against Leeds.”

He has past experience of upsetting the status quo from his time in Edinburgh. Hearts split Rangers and Celtic in 1992, Baird’s first season at Tynecastle, after topping the league for four months under then-manager Joe Jordan.

“There was an opportunity that year. We were top of the table for months. I always remember Joe Jordan going to [chairman] Wallace Mercer to ask for a couple of new players and he wouldn’t give him the money. We ended up losing the league title to Rangers, which started them on their nine-in-a-row run.

“It’s very hard for anybody to knock out the big two in Scotland because of the strength they have. I still hear from Gary Mackay, Robbo, Dave McPherson, so I still keep in touch on Hearts. Interesting choice of manager, by the way. Although, to be fair to Craig Levein, he’s always looked at things differently. I hope the lad does well because Hearts is a big club. People down here don’t really understand it because they haven’t been involved in Scottish football but Hearts is big in Scotland.”

Not quite as big as Arsenal, though. The bigger they come, the harder they fall at giant-killing Sutton United.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367382.1487176079!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367382.1487176079!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Baird made 79 appearances for Hearts between 1991 and 1993","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Baird made 79 appearances for Hearts between 1991 and 1993","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367382.1487176079!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367383.1487176085!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367383.1487176085!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sutton United celebrate scoring against Leeds United in the FA Cup fourth round","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sutton United celebrate scoring against Leeds United in the FA Cup fourth round","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367383.1487176085!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367384.1487176087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367384.1487176087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The away dressing-room at Gander Green Lane","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The away dressing-room at Gander Green Lane","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367384.1487176087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-fans-queue-from-5am-for-scottish-cup-derby-tickets-1-4367504","id":"1.4367504","articleHeadline": "Hearts fans queue from 5am for Scottish Cup derby tickets","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487171448000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts fans began the clamour for Easter Road tickets by queuing from 5 o’clock this morning outside Tynecastle.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367502.1487171426!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "William McLeish was first in the queue at Tynecastle this morning to snap up a ticket for the replay. Pic: Greg Macvean"} ,"articleBody": "

Supporters with 120 loyalty points began buying their seats for next Wednesday’s Scottish Cup replay against Hibs, although many other fans will be left disappointed.

The match will not be broadcast on TV due to UEFA rules prohibiting screenings of domestic football on Champions League nights.

Hearts will get less than 4000 tickets for Easter Road, meaning many supporters will be unable to see the game.

Tickets cost £28 for adults and £14 for concessions. This first phase of ticket sales is only for those with at least 120 loyalty points and runs until 5pm on Friday. Any further sale of tickets will commence on Monday, February 20, subject to availability.

Hibs announced yesterday that general sale tickets for the home end have sold out.

Click here for the latest Hearts results, fixtures and stats>>>

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367502.1487171426!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367502.1487171426!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "William McLeish was first in the queue at Tynecastle this morning to snap up a ticket for the replay. Pic: Greg Macvean","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "William McLeish was first in the queue at Tynecastle this morning to snap up a ticket for the replay. Pic: Greg Macvean","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367502.1487171426!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367503.1487171430!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367503.1487171430!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": ".","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": ".","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367503.1487171430!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/depleted-inverness-won-t-be-pushovers-against-hearts-mckay-1-4366592","id":"1.4366592","articleHeadline": "Depleted Inverness won’t be pushovers against Hearts – McKay","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487140210000 ,"articleLead": "

Until yesterday morning, Brad McKay was psyched for lining up in the Inverness Caledonian Thistle defence against former club Hearts at Tynecastle this weekend.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366591.1487097073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Inverness Caledonian Thistle defender Brad McKay"} ,"articleBody": "

His plans were dashed, however, when he learned belatedly that he was actually suspended for Saturday’s fixture after picking up a sixth league booking of the season in the defeat by Hamilton Accies a fortnight ago. The 23-year-old will now take his seat in the Tynecastle stand alongside Highland housemate Billy King, who is on loan from Hearts and ineligible to face his parent club.

The absence of McKay leaves beleaguered Inverness short of defenders for their trip to Edinburgh, as Gary Warren is also banned and Josh Meekings is injured. On-loan Celtic youngster Jamie McCart is set to be the only recognised centre-back available to Richie Foran as he bids to thwart a Hearts side who beat them 5-1 in Gorgie back in August and have scored seven goals in their last two league matches.

“I was really looking forward to playing at Tynecastle,” McKay told the Evening News. “I’ve been playing right-back for a lot of this season but, with Gary and Josh out, this was another chance for me to play at centre-back, which is my main position. Tynecastle’s a great place to play and I had got my family tickets for the game and everything – everyone was looking forward to it. But then I found out yesterday I was suspended. I’m gutted. I’ll be travelling down with the boys and I’ll be there supporting them.”

On paper at least, Hearts could ask for no better opponent as they look to reassert themselves following an underwhelming display in Sunday’s goalless draw against Hibs in the Scottish Cup. Inverness lie three points adrift at the foot of the Premiership after a 13-game run without a league win stretching back to October and head to Tynecastle on the back of a 6-0 defeat by Celtic in the Scottish Cup. McKay admits Inverness are enduring a difficult period, but insists they shouldn’t be written off as cannon fodder.

“Your confidence always takes a bit of a hit when you’re on a run like this,” he said. “In some games we’ve not been good enough but in other games we’ve played well but just not got the results we felt we deserved. It’s fine margins in this league and it’s all about getting a result and getting a bit of confidence back.

“Even if we were doing well in the league, everybody’s going to be disappointed after a 6-0 defeat in the cup. But, as a group, we’re not getting too downbeat about it. We’ve got a really good group here and we still believe things will turn for us. Honestly, this is the best group I’ve been part of. Because the majority of us have moved up to Inverness and it’s away from home for a lot of us, we’re all really close because we go out for coffees together and stuff like that. It’s probably a similar situation with the Ross County boys because we’re so far north. We’re all together, and I think that will help us.

“When I was at Hearts in the season we were deducted 15 points, it felt like we had a mountain to climb because of the situation. It doesn’t feel like that here. I genuinely feel like we’ve got enough about us to get out of it. We just need to string a couple of results together to get ourselves going.”

McKay does not expect his team-mates to be lambs to the slaughter at Tynecastle. “It’ll be a really tough game because of the players we’re missing, but we did well in the last game against them when we drew 3-3 at home,” said McKay. “We should have won that day.”

Although results haven’t gone well, McKay’s move to the Highlands has proved fruitful on a personal level. Having become a peripheral figure at Hearts and St Johnstone in recent seasons, he has taken great encouragement from featuring regularly in the Premiership again following a loan stint at Dunfermline in which he helped them seal the League One title last season. Nineteen starts from a possible 22 since arriving at the Caledonian Stadium at the start of September have vindicated his decision to uproot from Edinburgh to the Highlands.

“I’ve always said I need to play regularly, and I’ve had that chance here,” said McKay, who left boyhood club Hearts in summer 2015. “I felt like I started well and we had some good results when I first arrived when we drew against Aberdeen and Celtic. The form we showed earlier in the season tells me that we’re capable of stringing together some results. I’ve played at right-back for quite a lot of the season and I feel I’ve done well there considering it’s not a position I’ve played a lot before. I’ve been back at centre-back in the last few weeks but I’m the first to admit my performances haven’t been good enough recently. It’s been a good move for me overall, though.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4366591.1487097073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366591.1487097073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Inverness Caledonian Thistle defender Brad McKay","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Inverness Caledonian Thistle defender Brad McKay","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4366591.1487097073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-squad-has-formed-instant-bond-head-coach-ian-cathro-1-4366554","id":"1.4366554","articleHeadline": "Hearts squad has formed instant bond – head coach Ian Cathro","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487140207000 ,"articleLead": "

Ian Cathro today praised his Hearts squad for bonding instantly after nine new signings arrived in January.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366553.1487094789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro has seen quick progress at Hearts"} ,"articleBody": "

The Tynecastle head coach is pleased by the togetherness fostered in the dressing-room, which has helped improve results over the last three games.

Andraz Struna, Tasos Avlonitis, Aaron Hughes, Lennard Sowah, Malaury Martin, Alex Tziolis, Dylan Bikey, Choulay and Esmael Goncalves were all brought in by Cathro last month.

They contributed to a 4-1 win over Rangers and a 3-0 victory at Motherwell before Sunday’s goalless draw with Hibs in the Scottish Cup. Cathro expressed his delight at the quick progress made following his January overhaul. Two wins and a draw and just one goal conceded give him plenty encouragement ahead of this week’s league visit of Inverness.

“There is progress in all of those things. We can see – even in the course of the last week – that the squad has come together and is strong,” he said. “We deal with some frustrations after Sunday but we directly look forward to the next game.

“We were strong on Sunday, we were never uncomfortable in the game. Some games, you have to defend well with good discipline. You need to keep doing the small details well to keep the structure strong. We did that well. I don’t think there was any sense of us being shaky. We just couldn’t quite dominate play in a way to generate enough chances for ourselves.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4366553.1487094789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366553.1487094789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Cathro has seen quick progress at Hearts","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro has seen quick progress at Hearts","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4366553.1487094789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/steven-mclean-to-referee-hibs-v-hearts-scottish-cup-replay-1-4366074","id":"1.4366074","articleHeadline": "Steven McLean to referee Hibs v Hearts Scottish Cup replay","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487070471000 ,"articleLead": "

Steven McLean will take charge of Wednesday’s Scottish Cup fifth-round replay between Hearts and Hibs at Easter Road.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366073.1487070356!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Referee Steven McLean will take charge of next week's Edinburgh derby. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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The experienced whistler last took charge of an Edinburgh derby back in January 2015 as a long-range strike from Jamie Walker cancelled out Jason Cummings’ opener in a 1-1 draw at Tynecastle.

Following Sunday’s 0-0 draw, the Edinburgh rivals will go head to head for the second time in 10 days with a home tie against Ayr United or Clyde in the quarter-final up for grabs.

Meanwhile, Bobby Madden has been announced as the referee for Inverness Caley Thistle’s trip to Tynecastle this weekend. Hibs will see Craig Charleston officiate their trip to Raith Rovers on Saturday.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4366073.1487070356!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366073.1487070356!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Referee Steven McLean will take charge of next week's Edinburgh derby. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Referee Steven McLean will take charge of next week's Edinburgh derby. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4366073.1487070356!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/tributes-paid-to-lifelong-jambo-john-mcbride-1-4366005","id":"1.4366005","articleHeadline": "Tributes paid to lifelong Jambo John McBride","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487066786000 ,"articleLead": "

TRIBUTES have been paid to Hearts’ commercial executive John McBride after he died following a short illness.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366004.1487066772!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McBride. Picture: contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The grandad-of-five, from Gorgie, was described by club boss Ann Budge as a “Jambo from boyhood”.

Mr McBride dedicated his life to the club and helped Hearts to recover during its time of crisis.

Ms Budge said he restored its “commercial fortunes, strong bonds and trust”.

As a teenager, Mr McBride was a pupil at Tynecastle High School and supported Hearts from a young age.

Chief executive Ms Budge said: “John’s support for his beloved Hearts was unwavering and his life revolved around the club.

“A fan first and foremost, he joined the club at a time of crisis and helped to ‘keep the show on the road’ during administration.

“As the club recovered and began the process of rebuilding relationships with sponsors and supporters, John played a key part in restoring its commercial fortunes, forging strong bonds and rebuilding trust.

“John was a loving and committed family man.

“His three daughters and five grandchildren were a constant source of pride.

“As a Foundation of Hearts pledger from its inception, he was particularly proud that his grandson, Connor, saved his pocket money to pay for the Foundation’s ‘Create History’ board that was displayed in the Main Stand throughout the 2014/15 season.”

In 2015, shortly after he had recovered from serious surgery and chemotherapy, Mr McBride organised a fundraiser in the Gorgie Suite that raised more than £20,500 for Maggie’s Centres – which offer support for people with cancer.

Ms Budge added: “It was a cruel blow when the illness returned, but in his usual manner John responded with great dignity, with his thoughts firmly focused on those for whom he cared, and who cared for him.

“The thoughts of the club are with his daughters, his grandchildren and his partner, Liz, at this sad time.”

Stuart Wallace, chairman of the Foundation of Hearts, said: “John will be sadly missed.

“He always worked quietly in the background but was an unsung hero.

“He played a huge role in raising the publicity of the club and helped us sort out the turf cubes at Tynecastle.

“Because we were aware of what was happening, Ann Budge gave him a turf cube and a virtual plot at Tynecastle. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Quoting the statement from the Hearts website on her Twitter page amongst a flurry of social media tributes, Joy McBride wrote: “So proud to call you my dad.”

A spokesman for Maggie’s said: “Everyone at Maggie’s was extremely saddened to hear of John’s passing.

“During his time visiting Maggie’s Edinburgh the entire team got to know him well and he will be missed.

“We would like to pass on our deepest condolences to John’s family at this difficult time.”

courtney.cameron@jpress.co.uk

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4366004.1487066772!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366004.1487066772!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McBride. Picture: contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McBride. Picture: contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4366004.1487066772!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/crime/former-hearts-star-in-court-as-case-against-dad-laid-out-1-4365953","id":"1.4365953","articleHeadline": "Former Hearts star in court as case against dad laid out","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487062114000 ,"articleLead": "

FOOTBALLER Ryan McGowan arrived in court as a senior prosecution lawyer urged jurors to convict the former Hearts star’s father of murder.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365952.1487062098!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ryan McGowan. Picture; Toby Williams"} ,"articleBody": "

The 27-year-old Aussie international arrived at the High Court in Edinburgh and heard some of the proceedings against his 58-year-old dad James.

He sat in court shortly after prosecution lawyer Alex 
Prentice QC and defence solicitor advocate Murray Macara QC spoke to jurors about the case against Mr McGowan.

Mr Prentice told the jury that there was enough evidence available to them to prove that James murdered Owen Brannigan in a house in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, in November 1999.

The advocate depute also urged jurors to also convict McGowan of assaulting another man in a Coatbridge social club earlier in the same evening.

Mr Prentice said: “When you draw it all together – justice in this case requires you to find James McGowan guilty of the murder of Owen Brannigan. ”

Mr Prentice was speaking on the fifth day of proceedings against Mr McGowan, who was extradited to Scotland from Australia last year to stand trial on murder and assault charges.

Mr McGowan, whose address has been given as HMP Addiewell, denies murdering Mr Brannigan at a house in the Lanarkshire town on November 28 or 29, 1999.

Defence solicitor advocate Mr Macara told the jury that there was a reasonable doubt.

The trial continues.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4365952.1487062098!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365952.1487062098!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ryan McGowan. Picture; Toby Williams","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ryan McGowan. Picture; Toby Williams","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4365952.1487062098!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/new-back-four-fill-hearts-keeper-jack-hamilton-with-confidence-1-4365702","id":"1.4365702","articleHeadline": "New back four fill Hearts keeper Jack Hamilton with confidence","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487053852000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts brought an entirely new back four to cope with the business end of the Scottish season. With just one goal conceded in the last three games, Ian Cathro’s January recruits are faring pretty well on both league and Scottish Cup fronts.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365701.1487012397!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alexandros Tziolis and Tasos Avlonitis protect Jack Hamiltons goal by keeping out Hibs striker Brian Graham and Darren McGregor"} ,"articleBody": "

A 4-1 win against Rangers and a 3-0 victory at Motherwell in the Ladbrokes Premiership preceded Sunday’s goalless Scottish Cup draw with Edinburgh rivals Hibs. Right-back Andraz Struna, centre-backs Tasos Avlonitis and Aaron Hughes, plus left-back Lennard Sowah can therefore be content with the start to their Tynecastle careers.

Goalkeeper Jack Hamilton is mightily relieved. He would have been forgiven a sharp intake of breath as defender after defender arrived at Riccarton last month. Familiar faces like Igor Rossi and Alim Ozturk bade farewell, whilst Callum Paterson and John Souttar were sidelined by serious injury.

Hamilton was left in the unprecedented position of trying to familiarise himself with a totally new defence. The transition, despite an uneasy beginning against Raith Rovers and Celtic, now looks to be bearing fruit. Hearts want to build on their solid base, eliminate Hibs in next week’s cup replay and qualify for European football come May. The days of disorderly 3-3 draws at Inverness and Hamilton Accies should be consigned to the past.

“Not conceding goals is definitely a positive,” said Hamilton. “Before, we would’ve conceded a few late goals or stupid goals which would’ve cost us points. Losing one goal in the last three games is a good record. Hopefully we can now go on a wee run and stay tight at the back too. We know the guys further forward will score us goals.

“Because of the guys who have come in, it’s been easier for me to adjust. Aaron Hughes is brilliant, his experience is tremendous. He never seems to really be out of second gear. Souttar and Callum are big misses for us but the boys who came in have all been excellent. Andraz, Tasos and Lennard have settled in well. They are all big players for us now.

“I’m definitely pleased with another clean sheet on Sunday. As a goalkeeper, you aim to concede as few goals as possible so it’s a positive. It’s just a shame we couldn’t take the result. Everybody is frustrated because we know how good a team we are. Things haven’t really gone our way in recent months but we’ve started to pick it up. A few new people have come in, we’ve got a really strong squad and everybody in that dressing-room knows how good we are. Everybody believes in each other.”

A good portion of time was spent stressing the importance of the Edinburgh derby to new colleagues after Hearts signed nine players in total during January. “The fans would’ve made them aware how big a game it is. We certainly made them aware of how big a game it is,” said Hamilton. “They’ve played in massive derbies at other clubs but this one is special. Everybody handled it well on Sunday.”

The experience will have served all concerned well as the season approaches a critical period. Scottish Cup and League progress are Hearts’ dual aims across February, March and April. “Everybody knows the job at hand,” continued the goalkeeper. “It’s about going out and getting positive results.

“We have a good squad, a good management team and everything is piecing together. It’s easy to say that but we need to put the performances in. We can’t look at the games which are past, it’s the games in front of us that matter.

“The whole build-up is the same as this time last year. Even though I wasn’t playing, I was preparing for every game like I was going to play just in case something happened to Neil Alexander. I was also watching how he prepared and learning from him. It’s an important stage of the season and everybody knows what’s required.”

Hamilton continues working to address minor issues in his own game. At 22 and still in his first season as Hearts No.1, he acknowledges he is far from the complete goalkeeper. His place in Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad hinges on consistency at club level.

“There have been positives and negatives. Gall [Paul Gallacher, Hearts’ goalkeeping coach] has been tremendous with me. We go over things and look at how to make certain things better. We talk about how some things could be done better. There are loads of things and you work on them in training. I try to improve on every game.

“Distribution is a massive part of goalkeeping now so I look at working with the ball at my feet. Then there’s shot-stopping, cross balls, everything. You can’t be perfect at something and just leave it aside. You need to keep working on absolutely everything.

“I don’t look at one game and say: ‘I came out and caught that cross, so I’m brilliant at taking crosses.’ You’re not brilliant. Every game is a different situation so it’s about adapting to make life as easy as possible for myself.

“I’m just looking to keep my place at Hearts and, if I’m in the Scotland squad, it’s a bonus. I would love to be in every single Scotland squad but I’ve got to be in the Hearts team. If I’m not in the starting line-up here then I won’t be in the Scotland squad. I have to be doing well here.”

The new-look Tynecastle back four are certainly doing their bit to help Hamilton shine.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4365701.1487012397!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365701.1487012397!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alexandros Tziolis and Tasos Avlonitis protect Jack Hamiltons goal by keeping out Hibs striker Brian Graham and Darren McGregor","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alexandros Tziolis and Tasos Avlonitis protect Jack Hamiltons goal by keeping out Hibs striker Brian Graham and Darren McGregor","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4365701.1487012397!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/arnaud-djoum-believes-africa-cup-success-can-boost-hearts-1-4365698","id":"1.4365698","articleHeadline": "Arnaud Djoum believes Africa Cup success can boost Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487053839000 ,"articleLead": "

Arnaud Djoum feels Hearts will benefit from the extra confidence he has gained since winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Cameroon.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365697.1487012032!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Arnaud Djoum, top left, celebrates Cameroon's AFCON success"} ,"articleBody": "

Following a month away with his country at the tournament in Gabon, the midfielder returned to Edinburgh last Thursday and came on for his club as a second-half sub against Hibs in Sunday’s goalless Scottish Cup fifth-round tie at Tynecastle.

Despite being unable to make much of an impression on a frenetic Edinburgh derby, Djoum’s belief levels are soaring after the crowning moment of his career to date.

“It is the best moment, the biggest achievement,” he said. “I never expected to win a cup like this so I’m very happy. I have that experience behind me now. When you achieve that, to win such a big trophy, you get more confidence in yourself. I played in the final so that was a big boost personally. I will try to take this with me and help the team.”

After helping his country defeat Egypt in the AFCON final a week past Sunday, Djoum was proud to go back to Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital city, to show off the trophy to jubilant supporters. “The celebrations were amazing,” he said. “We stayed in Gabon the first night to make party with the people there. Then we got back to Cameroon and the people there were crazy. We had a tour of the city and enjoyed it with them. It was a nice experience. I have to say thanks to the fans.”

Djoum took it easy in terms of alcohol consumption in the aftermath of his big moment as he knew he had to be in peak condition upon his return to his club last week. “I’m not used to drink,” he said. “I take one glass of wine. I’m not someone who drinks a lot. Maybe I’ll have more when the season is over, but I knew I needed to get back to help Hearts. We had two days over there [in Cameroon], to have a party and enjoy it with the people. I did that.

“It would have been nice to have more time to celebrate, but I am a professional footballer and I have a contract here so it’s important I get back as soon as possible. Maybe later there will be time to party more and celebrate the moment. I want to enjoy it but I have to focus on Hearts.”

Djoum, who headed to Africa at the start of January, returned to Riccarton last week to find nine new team-mates after a radical winter transfer window at Hearts. “There are lot of new faces here and I’m still getting to know them,” he said. “They look like good guys with a good mentality. In one week, I’ll know them all.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4365697.1487012032!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365697.1487012032!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Arnaud Djoum, top left, celebrates Cameroon's AFCON success","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Arnaud Djoum, top left, celebrates Cameroon's AFCON success","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4365697.1487012032!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/better-pitch-will-help-hearts-in-cup-replay-djoum-1-4365660","id":"1.4365660","articleHeadline": "Better pitch will help Hearts in cup replay – Djoum","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487053814000 ,"articleLead": "

Arnaud Djoum believes Hearts will be able to put on a better derby show at Easter Road next week after being hindered by the state of the Tynecastle pitch in Sunday’s goalless draw with Hibs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365659.1487007920!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Arnaud Djoum was a second-half substitute on Sunday. Pic: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

The two sides face a Scottish Cup fifth-round replay in Leith a week tomorrow following a turgid match at the weekend in which both sides toiled to find any cohesion on a wretched playing surface.

Hibs manager Neil Lennon and striker Grant Holt claimed after the match that the pitch made it impossible to play any football, and those in the Hearts camp were of no mind to disagree. At one point in the second half, home midfielder Alex Tziolis, usually comfortable in possession, sliced a routine pass up the line into the main stand after the ball bobbled up in front of him.

Djoum admitted that the surface was poor compared to what he had played on while helping Cameroon win the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon a week earlier, but the midfielder is confident they will have more chance of imposing themselves on their city rivals when they head to Easter Road.

“The football [on Sunday] was very different to what it was like at AFCON,” said Djoum, who came on as a second-half substitute. “The pitch was not great so that made it very difficult. In the finals, the pitches were a bit better. On a better pitch we will do better things so I’m confident we can get a result in the replay.”

Including substitutes, nine Hearts players got their first taste of the Edinburgh derby on Sunday. Djoum believes the fact his new colleagues have now experienced the frenetic nature of the fixture will give them a better chance of letting their quality shine through as they bid to set up a home quarter-final tie against either Ayr United or Clyde.

“We have a lot of new players here,” he said. “I trained a couple of days with them last week but I saw a lot of quality. There are more experienced players here, so we can use that in the replay.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4365659.1487007920!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365659.1487007920!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Arnaud Djoum was a second-half substitute on Sunday. Pic: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Arnaud Djoum was a second-half substitute on Sunday. Pic: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4365659.1487007920!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/alistair-roy-goal-gives-wee-jambos-win-over-celtic-1-4365803","id":"1.4365803","articleHeadline": "Alistair Roy goal gives Wee Jambos win over Celtic","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487021963000 ,"articleLead": "

A SECOND-HALF goal from Alistair Roy gave Hearts Under-20s a 1-0 victory over their Celtic counterparts in the SPFL Development League at Ochilview last night.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365802.1487075716!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alistair Roy\\nscored just after the interval"} ,"articleBody": "

Roy struck after 47 minutes just after Liam Smith had almost put the Wee Jambos ahead when his shot was headed over the Celtic crossbar for a corner.

Recent signing Dylan Bikey then went close to making it 2-0 after 51 minutes but his shot was saved by Conor Hazard.

It took just three minutes after the kick-off for Hearts to show their intentions when Rory Currie smacked a shot off the woodwork with Hazard beaten. Hearts custodian Viktor Noring made two good saves before the break to keep the scores level. And he made a crucial stop to keep it at 1-0.

Hearts starting XI: Noring, L Smith, Hamilton, Jones, Reid, Petkov, Beith, Roy, Henderson, Bikey, Currie.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4365802.1487075716!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365802.1487075716!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alistair Roy\\nscored just after the interval","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alistair Roy\\nscored just after the interval","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4365802.1487075716!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/tv-blackout-for-hibs-hearts-scottish-cup-replay-1-4365638","id":"1.4365638","articleHeadline": "TV blackout for Hibs-Hearts Scottish Cup replay","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487005932000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts and Hibs fans face a ticket scramble for the William Hill Scottish Cup fifth-round replay at Easter Road next Wednesday as the match will not be televised.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365637.1487006575!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts and Hibs battled out a no-scoring draw at Tynecastle on Sunday. Pic: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

Two Champions League ties take place at the same time and UEFA rules state that no other football can be broadcast live in direct opposition to their premier competition.

Porto v Juventus and Sevilla v Leicester City are due to kick off at the same time as the Edinburgh derby. That means the only way Hearts and Hibs supporters can see the Scottish Cup replay is to be there in person.

Hearts have been allocated just under 4000 tickets for Easter Road with sales beginning at 9am on Wednesday. Hibs fans on the Hibernian database were able to purchase their seats from 10am on Tuesday.

The two sides played out an unremarkable 0-0 draw at Tynecastle on Sunday, meaning they must meet again on February 22. The winners will host Ayr United or Clyde at home in the quarter-finals.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4365637.1487006575!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365637.1487006575!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts and Hibs battled out a no-scoring draw at Tynecastle on Sunday. Pic: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts and Hibs battled out a no-scoring draw at Tynecastle on Sunday. Pic: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4365637.1487006575!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/hibs-fans-locked-out-of-tynecastle-due-to-steward-error-1-4365569","id":"1.4365569","articleHeadline": "Hibs fans locked out of Tynecastle due to ‘steward error’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487001310000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs have released a statement explaining why some fans were unable to gain access to Tynecastle for their Scottish Cup clash against Hearts on Sunday.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365568.1487001295!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "There was an issue with access to Tynecastle stadium."} ,"articleBody": "

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Hibs confirmed they had been in contact with Hearts after small number of supporters were unable to gain entry to Sunday’s match between the teams at Tynecastle.

It is understood that some Hibs fans were told by steward that they would not be able to gain entry after a statement was read out prematurely and in error.

As a result some supporters opted to leave the area despite not gaining access to the grounds.

The stadium was approaching capacity and fans were being taken in small groups when gaining access for safety reasons. It has been reported that Hibs fans were told that this would cause a delay but would still give them access.

The clubs have agreed that those supporters who were inadvertently misinformed, and who have retained an unused valid match-day ticket, should make themselves known to Hibs.

A Hibs statement reads that tickets will be cross-checked with Hearts, and refunds will be issued.

Supporters have been told to contact the Hibernian Ticket Office (tickets@hibernianfc.co.uk) in the first instance to start the process.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DIANE KING"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4365568.1487001295!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365568.1487001295!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "There was an issue with access to Tynecastle stadium.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "There was an issue with access to Tynecastle stadium.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4365568.1487001295!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/hearts-commercial-executive-john-mcbride-dies-1-4365459","id":"1.4365459","articleHeadline": "Hearts commercial executive John McBride dies","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1486995160000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts have announced that their commercial executive, John McBride has passed away after a short illness.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365458.1486995146!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

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The life-long Hearts fan, who joined the club during their time in administration, played a key role in keeping the club afloat and building up relationships to ensure the future success of the club.

An announcement on the club website read: “John was a loving and committed family man. His three daughters; Heather, Andrea and Joy, and his five grandchildren were a constant source of pride. As a Foundation of Hearts pledger from its inception, he was particularly proud that his grandson, Connor, saved his pocket money to pay for the Foundation’s “Create History” board that was displayed in the Main Stand throughout the 2014/15 season.

“John’s courage in the face of serious illness in 2015 was truly inspirational. Having recovered from serious surgery and chemotherapy, he organised a fundraiser in the Gorgie Suite that raised over £20,500 for Maggie’s Centres. It was a cruel blow when the illness returned, but in his usual manner, John responded with great dignity with his thoughts firmly focused on those for whom he cared, and who cared for him.

“The thoughts of the club are with his daughters, his grandchildren and his partner, Liz, at this sad time.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DIANE KING"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4365458.1486995146!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365458.1486995146!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4365458.1486995146!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-boss-frustrated-but-glad-to-learn-about-derby-demands-1-4364820","id":"1.4364820","articleHeadline": "Hearts boss frustrated but glad to learn about derby demands","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1486967456000 ,"articleLead": "

Frustration reigned for Hearts after a frenetic Scottish Cup Edinburgh derby. While the uneven Tynecastle pitch was heavily criticised during the 0-0 fifth-round draw, head coach Ian Cathro was at least happy his team stood up to intense scrutiny.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4364819.1486920925!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano blocks Bjorn Johnsen's effort. Pic: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

For the first time in living memory, Hibs visited Tynecastle as Scottish Cup holders after ending their 114-year wait for the trophy last May. They held on to it with a deserved draw and a replay at Easter Road on Wednesday, February 22. The winner of that match will then face either Ayr United or Clyde in the quarter-finals.

It is a repeat of last year when Hibs eliminated Hearts after a replay in Leith on their way to winning the trophy. Cathro felt a rematch wouldn’t have been necessary if his players had produced more in the final third of the pitch, although they were definitely hindered by the bobbly surface. Cathro entered the media room at full-time looking rather exasperated but maintained his familiar calm outward manner.

There were precious few scoring chances in one of the most uneventful Capital derbies in recent memory. Hibs, though, will retreat to the other side of the city feeling relatively confident after stretching their unbeaten run against Hearts to six games. They certainly didn’t look like a club from a lower division in front of a packed Tynecastle yesterday.

The positives for Hearts are a second consecutive clean sheet and a sense that, despite recruiting an entire new back four during the January transfer window, they look a more solid unit.

“A draw is possibly accurate,” admitted Cathro. “It’s a derby – lots of breaks, stoppages, fouls, and the game fails to come to life. That’s frustrating from our side. We could’ve played better. Was it balanced? Maybe. The game broke up all the time. There were small fouls and the atmosphere and sense of what the derby is – we needed to play past that a bit better.

“The pitch is difficult but it’s our pitch and it’s not something we want to focus too much on. You’ve got to manage conditions so we won’t make that a talking point. I’m someone who loves football. I think we could’ve played more of it. The most pleasing factor is that we saw a strong team dealing with that frustration and staying focused. We were comfortable defending what we had to defend.”

It was Cathro’s first experience of the Edinburgh derby and his first dealings with Hibs. He now feels better informed for the replay. “One of the positives is we’ve lived through this game and we know more. We’ll be well prepared when the next game comes round and we’ll look forward to it. We have our frustrations from not being able to do what we wanted to yesterday.”

He wasn’t the only one new to the Hearts-Hibs rivalry. The overhaul in Gorgie in the last 12 months has been extensive. Only three home players featured when these two teams met at the same stage of the same competition last year – Don Cowie, Jamie Walker and Sam Nicholson. In total, Hearts started seven Edinburgh derby debutants yesterday. Hibs, by contrast, have had a far more settled squad during the last year and arrived as SPFL Championship leaders, as well as cup holders.

Foundation of Hearts chairman Stuart Wallace presented Hearts owner Ann Budge with a cheque for £1 million on the pitch before kick-off. That represented the FoH contribution to Tynecastle’s new £12m main stand. Indeed, all three stands occupied by home supporters rose as one just two minutes in when Esmael Goncalves sprinted on to Lennard Sowah’s through ball, but Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano blocked the Portuguese striker’s shot. The opening half hour was full of uncompromising challenges, several of them late, which tested the patience of referee Willie Collum. Play regularly stopped for infringements and that meant precious few chances in either penalty area. It took until the 44th minute for another genuine opening to arrive, and it was Hibs who created it.

The hulking figure of Grant Holt stepped through three opponents 25 yards from goal and passed to Jason Cummings in space on the right of the penalty area. The young Scot’s left-footed attempt was smothered by Hearts goalkeeper Jack Hamilton at the second attempt. Both managers seemed to decide at the interval that the pitch dictated longer balls were necessary.

Cathro introduced Bjorn Johnsen for Malaury Martin at half-time and his team instantly went on the offensive at the start of the second period. The American had an effort saved by Marciano and Darren McGregor bravely threw his body in front of Walker’s follow-up volley. Hibs then began asserting themselves more in response. They dropped a number of loping balls in behind the home defence, and one found Fraser Fyvie for a low cross which Andraz Struna cleared to safety.

The visitors came close again on 76 minutes from another long pass. Cummings scarpered on to James Keatings’ ball and held up play before supplying a low delivery towards the back post. Holt was charging in at full speed but couldn’t slide in early enough to direct the ball on target. As the final ten minutes approached, it was Hibs who looked the more likely scorers.

However, the final whistle sounded on a goalless and fairly uneventful Edinburgh derby. Which means another one at Easter Road on Wednesday week.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4364819.1486920925!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4364819.1486920925!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano blocks Bjorn Johnsen's effort. Pic: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano blocks Bjorn Johnsen's effort. Pic: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4364819.1486920925!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/ian-cathro-hearts-will-be-fired-up-for-easter-road-1-4364830","id":"1.4364830","articleHeadline": "Ian Cathro: Hearts will be fired up for Easter Road","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1486967439000 ,"articleLead": "

Ian Cathro stressed today that Hearts will head to Easter Road with confidence for next week’s Scottish Cup fifth-round replay.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4364829.1486921575!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano holds a cross ball as Hearts striker Bjorn Johnsen waits to pounce. Pic: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

Yesterday’s goalless draw at Tynecastle means the Capital clubs meet again on Wednesday, February 22, and Cathro is convinced his players can prevail.

Hearts lost 1-0 to Hibs in a replay at the same stage of last season’s Scottish Cup after a 2-2 draw at Tynecastle. Hibs went on to lift the trophy for the first time in 114 years and have now gone six games undefeated against their biggest rivals.

Cathro was disappointed his team didn’t create more scoring chances yesterday, although he was encouraged by their discipline and organisation.

Hibs had some late pressure which Hearts absorbed and Cathro remains unfazed by confronting the same opponents in Leith next week - with the winners due to face either Ayr United or Clyde in the quarter-finals.

“I don’t consider or see any intimidation.

“With the experience we have, none of our players will feel that. I won’t feel that,” Cathro told the Evening News.

“We have a game that we need to go and win and we’ll do everything we can to try and deliver that.

“We were looking to do some different things in yesterday’s game. Sometimes the game doesn’t open up to give you access to these players’ talents. Sometimes it becomes a bit more direct, and then we made changes to try and push us further up the pitch. Overall, the guys have done okay but we all have to do more.”

Hearts welcomed Arnaud Djoum back after the midfielder helped Cameroon win the Africa Cup of Nations. He came on as a second-half substitute and injected fresh impetus into the home side.

“I think he did well in the game. He’s had a lot going on in the last week but it’s very pleasing to have him back with us,” added Cathro.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4364829.1486921575!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4364829.1486921575!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano holds a cross ball as Hearts striker Bjorn Johnsen waits to pounce. Pic: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano holds a cross ball as Hearts striker Bjorn Johnsen waits to pounce. Pic: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4364829.1486921575!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}