"Firing on all cylinders" - Motherwell boss praises Hearts ahead of this weekend’s Premiership clash

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Hearts will hope to avenge their home defeat to Motherwell as the two side’s face off at Tynecastle for the second time this season

Hearts are unbeaten in their last nine league matches and will look to extend that excellent vein of form in this weekend’s home clash against Motherwell.

The Jam Tarts have been one of the most consistent teams in the division and they are on course to finish inside the top three for just the third time in the last decade. Steve Naismith’s side will be a challenging test for a Motherwell team who dropped a three goal lead in their last encounter against Neil Warnock’s Aberdeen.

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Ahead of the fixture Stuart Kettlewell was full of praise for his opponents as the Steelman look to stage an upset. 

 He told reporters: “It’s going to be a difficult game, I think that last game added to what has been a very good run for Heart and coincided with some really good form. 

“They’ve obviously put themselves in a good position in the league. They put themselves into the next round of the cup. They are scoring goals, they look really mean defensively and they seem to be on to something at this moment in time.”

“I’ve always thought that Tynecastle is one of the hardest games you get in any season. No matter how they are playing or how they are performing. But it just so happens we go there when they are firing on all cylinders.

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“I got to see them up close and personal. But there weren't a lot of surprises, they’ve got a lot of good players, they've invested heavily in their squad to get the best group they possibly can and they seem to be clicking at this moment in time. 

“But we found ourselves 3-0 up at Pittodrie and playing very very well so if we can reach those heights I genuinely believe we can make a game of it.”

Motherwell picked up a 1-0 win at Tynecastle earlier in the season with ten men. Callum Slatterly bagged a first half winner as the team held on - despite Paul McGinns’ first half dismissal.

Kettlewell reflected on that game with fondness and said: “We showed great resilience that day, great character and also played some really good football. What we have to do when we attack them has to be sharp and has to be precise.”

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The last meeting between the two side’s was a 2-1 victory for Hearts at Fir Park. In-form striker Lawrence Shankland bagged a double that day and he will hope to maintain his excellent run of form as the division’s top goalscorer.

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