Csaba Laszlo: Hearts duo must fight for Lithuania Squad

Arvydas Novikovas
Arvydas Novikovas
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CSABA LASZLO believes Hearts players Marius Zaliukas and Arvydas Novikovas can play a major part in his reign with Lithuania, provided they are performing consistently at club level.

Following his appointment as Lithuania’s new national coach, Laszlo wants fresh talent in the squad but will keep faith with Zaliukas and Novikovas.

Winger Novikovas was sent off during Lithuania’s under-21 side’s 1-0 Commonwealth Cup victory over Belarus last night. Laszlo, a former Hearts manager, admitted that he must play regularly to make the full squad.

“We know Novikovas is a talented player but he is only a substitute for Hearts at the moment,” he said.

“When I left Hearts he went to St Johnstone on loan. Sometimes he plays ten minutes but this is not enough. Along with [David] Templeton, he was an up and coming player but now Templeton plays more often.

“It is important for Novikovas to get playing football and then we can talk about the national team.

“Zaliukas, if he is fit, will be more in the frame. With his age he is a good player but I must look at what happens with him at club level in the future.”