Former Hearts captain Christophe Berra says the club’s Lithuanian contingent will be determined to prove a point in tomorrow’s Euro 2012 qualifier at Hampden.
Berra says current Jambos Marius Zaliukas and Arvydas Novikovas, as well as former Tynecastle men Saulius Mikoliunas and Deividas Cesnauskis, will be desperate to cause an upset against Scotland.
All four started in Lithuania’s 0-0 draw at home to Liechtenstein on Friday night, while former Hearts players Linas Pilibaitis, Kestutis Ivaskevicius and Ricardas Beniusis were unused substitutes for the match and could feature at the National Stadium in Glasgow.
“They’ll be wanting to get one up on the Scottish people, the supporters,” admitted Berra, the Wolves centre half. “They’ve had a lot of stick since they’ve been here so it’s our job to make sure they don’t cope.”
Jambos fans will remember Cesnauskis as a flying winger for their side between 2005-2009, but the 30-year-old, who joined Baku in the Azerbaijan Premier League this summer after leaving Greek club Aris, is likely to be deployed in his new role as right-back tomorrow evening. He looks forward to making a return to these shores, and says he would not spurn an advance from Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov in order to experience domestic football in Scotland once more in his career.
“Still Romanov has to pay me,” he joked. “I hope, if Romanov gives some interest to me, I want to come back to Hearts. I love this team, I love the stadium. I think it’s one of the best times in my football career.
“Now we go to Scotland and we try to do our best and I hope we do something good. I’m happy to go back to play again in Scotland. It’s about Hearts
“I love this team,” he added. “It was one of the best times in my football career.”
Cesnauskis accepts that Lithuania will go into the clash with Scotland as underdogs and while he and his countrymen will be out to atone for their disappointing draw against Liechtenstein, the wide man admits that he would love to see the Scots qualify for next year’s European Championship at the expense of current second-placed team Czech Republic.
“I want Scotland because I played well in this country, and if I choose between Scotland and Czech Republic, I choose Scotland.
“They’ll be favourites for the game – they have better players and a better team.”