Andy Irving says Hearts fans will see a more entertaining team under Daniel Stendel

Teenager was outstanding against Aberdeen and says he is relishing new approach

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 6:00 am
Andy Irving proved himself to Hearts manager Daniel Stendel against Aberdeen

After showcasing his talent to manager Daniel Stendel with a man-of-the-match display against Aberdeen, the Hearts midfielder Andy Irving said he expects his team to become more entertaining under the German coach.

Irving dominated the fifth match of Stendel’s tenure on Sunday as Aberdeen earned a 1-1 draw at Tynecastle Park. It was the 19-year-old’s first appearance since the new manager’s appointment and he grasped the opportunity.

New players will arrive at Tynecastle Park this month as Stendel continues implementing an attacking gameplan. Irving hopes to stay involved and explained that Hearts fans will enjoy watching their new-look side in full flow.

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“I think so, especially in the final third. He wants people to take risks,” said the teenager. “You saw Ryo Meshino’s goal against Aberdeen, which was a great strike. He is practising that all the time. I’m not saying that’s a risk but maybe Ryo wouldn’t have had the confidence to take that shot previously.

“In the final third, the manager wants us taking risks. If you are one-against-one with an opponent, try something. If there is a killer pass, try it. We will all hopefully be in that area to win the ball back with the high press. He wants people to get on the ball, pass and try to be creative. We had a meeting before Sunday’s game and it was about taking risks. I quite like that.”

Irving was satisfied after staking his claim for more game time against Aberdeen. “I had spoken to the manager a few times. I was maybe at a disadvantage because he hadn’t seen me play previously. He had only seen me in training so maybe it’s my fault. I’ve maybe not done enough in training. I think Sunday has hopefully shown I am capable.

“The mood has lifted. Everybody was happy with the performance. Individually and collectively, it was much better. We are a bit disappointed we didn’t win. I think if we had scored in the first half then we would probably go on to win the game. Going down to ten men killed us a bit.

“We have a few days off and then we are back in. We have two weeks until the Airdrie game in the Scottish Cup. We will be working hard, getting fitter and understanding more of what the new manager wants. Hopefully it all pays off in the second half of the season.”

New signings do not faze Irving. “It’s got to be expected. We haven’t had a great first half this season. A new manager has his own ideas so we will need to wait and see who comes in. Everybody is playing for their futures.”