Gary Mackay: Daniel Stendel can reinvigorate Hearts with Duncan Ferguson-type passion
New manager will find it easier with Tynecastle fans' support
We are all hoping Daniel Stendel becomes the driving force that reinvigorates Hearts – players, supporters, everyone. Fans want an identity to their team and if results improve, they will jump on board with the new German manager very quickly.
I watched Duncan Ferguson’s passion for Everton on the touchline last weekend and that is great to see. He has a long affiliation with that club, whereas Daniel is totally new to Hearts. Let’s hope he quickly buys into the passion here. I’m sure he will find that bit easy.
His reported style of play should certainly prove popular. I believe he sets up his team with high energy. Will he be able to make that imprint with the current group at Hearts? Or does he have a Plan B? We maybe don’t have the personnel to play this high-press and dynamic type of football. I hope I’m wrong. Stendel will be the only one who can decide.
I’m interested to see what younger players he brings into the team. I was also intrigued reading that he hasn’t signed many players for money in his time, so he is not all about transfers. He tries to work from within. Hopefully he will identify three, four or five youngsters who can augment the current squad and give us a freshness about the team.
Hearts have taken a big chance on him but if he can replicate what he did at Barnsley, it will be great. There is nothing false about the league position right now. We are where we are.
I think we need pace and energy in the team because there is not enough of that, particularly in the middle and front areas. He will want to put his own stamp on the team and, ultimately, he has one thing to make sure of. Hearts have to ensure we retain our Premiership status. That should be a given but it isn’t at this moment.
We are in a dogfight and we have not shown any real signs of getting out of that situation so far. Get that sorted first, then think about everything else. We also need to be a bit patient and give him time to work with the players.