Andraz Struna plots way back into Slovenia squad with Hearts

Andraz Struna battles with Englands Raheem Sterling during a Euro 2016 qualifying match at Wembley. Picture: Getty Images
Andraz Struna battles with Englands Raheem Sterling during a Euro 2016 qualifying match at Wembley. Picture: Getty Images
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New Hearts defender Andraz Struna today revealed he wants to rebuild his shattered international career whilst at Tynecastle.

The 27-year-old signed a six-month deal last week and made his debut in Sunday’s 1-1 Scottish Cup draw against Raith Rovers. It was Struna’s first outing in nine months as he was left without a club last summer after leaving PAS Giannina in Greece. He trained by himself awaiting an opportunity but lost his place in the Slovenia squad – who are in Scotland’s World Cup group – after winning 25 caps.

He seized the chance of a short-term contract with Hearts and is now keen to perform consistently in maroon – and recapture the attention of the Slovenia coach Srecko Katanec.

“Of course I want to be back in the Slovenia squad. From the summer, let’s say I made some bad decisions about this,” said Struna, speaking exclusively to the Evening News in his first media interview since arriving in Scotland.

“I waited so long for a new team and I lost my place in the national team. I am very motivated to come back. I still have a chance. I hope the games here for Hearts will help me.

“It’s true I did not play for a long time. I feel good after such a long time without playing. The feelings came back to me so I am really happy I am starting to play again.

“Honestly, I have been here since Wednesday. If you look at it that way, you cannot be 100 per cent but you must start from somewhere. I felt comfortable to start the game on Sunday. I’m sure that, from game to game, I will be better and I will find it easier.”

Tickets for Wednesday night’s Scottish Cup fourth-round replay against Raith at Tynecastle are now on sale. Prices are £15 for adults and £5 for concessions.

Supporters can buy their tickets online at www.heartsfc.co.uk, over the phone by calling 0333 043 1874 (option 1), or in person at the Hearts Ticket Centre.