Daniel Stendel reveals Ryotaro Meshino's fight to reclaim his Hearts place

Japanese forward determined to work his way back into manager's plans

By Barry Anderson
Monday, 24th February 2020, 6:10 am
Ryotaro Meshino is training hard to impress Hearts manager Daniel Stendel
Ryotaro Meshino is training hard to impress Hearts manager Daniel Stendel

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel today praised Ryotaro Meshino's attitude and endeavour to fight his way back into the team at Tynecastle Park.

The Japanese forward has featured in only four of Stendel's 13 matches in charge of the Edinburgh club, the last being the 3-3 draw at St Johnstone on February 1.

He fell out of favour after spending part of January in Thailand with the Japan Under-23 squad at the AFC Championship. Returning to Riccarton, Stendel's tactics and gameplan had been implemented in his absence.

Sign up to our Hearts newsletter

However, Meshino is refusing to give up. Stendel explained to the Evening News that the 21-year-old Manchester City loanee is working tirelessly to reclaim his place.

"The thing is not the quality from Meshino," said Stendel. "We started in January to do things together and learn what we need to do more. He was not here at that time.

"In the last few weeks, we have had no time to train [with so many games]. We trained with ten players only in the recovery session at times. It is difficult to bring him in and we tried against St Johnstone.

"I can say he has worked hard in training. This is a really good attitude because it is not easy when you expect to play and you do not play, or you are not even in the squad. He is still working hard to come back into the squad to play."