John McGlynn says Hearts players not taking it easy

John McGlynn

John McGlynn

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HEARTS may have had a gruelling start to the season, but the players haven’t been allowed to take it easy over the international break, according to John McGlynn.

After having to negotiate four games in the space of just 11 days, including the energy-sapping two-legged Europa League encounter with Liverpool, the consensus was that the Hearts players might be in need of some recuperation when the SPL halted for a fortnight for the international double-headers 
which have just concluded.

However, McGlynn insists it’s been a case of ‘no rest for the wicked’ for those not on international duty, with the usual daily training sessions interspersed with a friendly at Spartans last Friday and an Under-20 game at Kilmarnock which featured several recognised names.

As far as the Hearts manager is concerned, preparation for Saturday’s trip to St Mirren began as soon as the full-time whistle sounded against Dundee a week past Sunday.

“We’ve kept going all the time, basically,” McGlynn told Hearts TV. “We had the game at Spartans on Friday, then gave them Saturday and Sunday off. We had an Under-20 game at Kilmarnock on Monday, which a few of the first-team guys played in. We’ve worked hard and kept at it. It’s still very early in the season so I don’t think we should be having much time off.”

The manager must now wait to learn if those on international duty, such as Andy Webster, Marius Zaliukas, Ryan McGowan, Callum Paterson and Arvydas Novikovas, have returned unscathed.

Zaliukas played the full 90 minutes and Novikovas came on for the last 14 minutes in Lithuania’s 2-0 defeat in Greece, while McGowan was an unused sub as Australia crashed to a 2-1 defeat in Jordan.