Hearts set for another three pre-season friendlies including games in England

Tynecastle side stepping up their preparations.
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Hearts are planning three more pre-season friendlies before the cinch Premiership begins away to St Johnstone on August 5. They are heading to England for two closed-door fixtures this week and will then prepare to host Leeds United at Tynecastle Park at the end of the month.

The Tynecastle side take on English League One teams Fleetwood Town on Wednesday evening and Wigan Athletic on Sunday before returning to Edinburgh. They had considered arranging another friendly for the weekend of July 22/23, but as things stand there is nothing finalised for either of those dates.

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Fleetwood are managed by the former Celtic captain Scott Brown and are preparing for life in England’s third tier. The Wigan match could see Hearts come up against striker Stephen Humphrys, who spent last season on loan in Gorgie. Leeds were relegated from the English Premier League in May and will provide a stern test for Hearts in their final pre-season encounter on Sunday, July 30.

“We are playing Fleetwood and Wigan. The Leeds game will be another big one, great for our support and they will bring a huge following as well,” said Frankie McAvoy, the Hearts head coach, after two pre-season outings so far against Plymouth Argyle and Dunfermline Athletic.

“We are gearing them [players] up as best we can for difficult fixtures. We had a difficult one last week against Plymouth, who are coming up into the English Championship. It's about getting minutes in, bringing people back into the fold and letting them see how we want to do things.”