Hearts keen to draw line under cup exit

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While “angry” at the exit to First Division opposition, the Polish midfielder explained why the league is ultimately more important and how Hearts aim to secure a return to European football come next May.

Vladimir Romanov, the club’s majority shareholder, set a pre-season challenge to the squad to win the SPL and Mrowiec acknowledged that his ambition is reflected within the players. However, third remains the primary aim.

Mrowiec attempted to put a positive spin on the cup exit by pointing out that it enables him and his colleagues to focus solely on league fixtures, starting with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Sunday.

“We had a bad result on Wednesday but we are trying to forget that and we are thinking now about Sunday’s game. We will change some things and hopefully we can get a win,” he said.

“It’s disappointing for everyone that we are out. We are angry and very surprised but now we have more time to just think about the league games. Last year we went out of the League Cup and then we took third position.

“We want to be in third place at least. Romanov, before the season, said we have to win the SPL. Everything is possible but you have to play. We want to keep third place and maybe if we are lucky we can do something more.

“Everyone wants to win the SPL so what (Romanov) said was positive. I thought about winning the SPL when I was joining Hearts. But there are two very good teams at the top and I hope we can match them.

“Sunday is a very difficult away game. We had a tough game in the cup but we have to win against St Johnstone.”