‘We can’t use it’ - Zander Clark explains what Hearts are not doing after loss vs Motherwell

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Zander Clark has been speaking about Hearts defeat to Motherwell and representing Scotland during the international break

Hearts now have a two-week break to try and sort out their issues following Sunday’s 1-0 home defeat to Motherwell as attention turns again to the national side.

Skipper Lawrence Shankland will be heading away with Scotland for their double header against Cyprus and England and he will be joined by goalkeeper Zander Clark as the pair continue what has been a restless start to the season. However, the stopper refused to use the busy schedule as an excuse for their poor showing against the Steelmen.

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Speaking after that match, Clark said: “It’s frustrating, a home game and one that we wanted to win and obviously coming away with a defeat is disappointing. We need to start games more brightly, we rotated the team and there was a freshness, we can’t use European games as an excuse, we just need to start on the front foot and try and set on to game better and cause teams more of a threat.

“We got down the sides a lot but we never caused them any problems, I don’t remember Kels (Liam Kelly) having a save to make of any note which is disappointing for the amount of good play we had in behind them. It’s just that final ball and being more organised throughout.

“As players we wanted to keep that Thursday-Sunday routine going but it wasn’t meant to be and we’ve got the international break coming up now which gives us a chance to reset and get our focus back,try and be in a better place come the end of the break and try and make sure we’re good to go.

“Obviously you’ve got the travel and stuff but we had enough freshness in the team, we know as players we need to thrive off going and playing a game of football, we can’t use it as excuses. It wasn’t good enough and we know that.”

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For the sake of the national side though the keeper will need to sake of Sunday’s dissapointment and be ready should he be called upon for either match. The Scots face Cyprus away on Friday in their latest European Championship qualifer before a bumper friendly match against the English.

“Going away with the National team is a great honour and we’re doing well at the moment,” Clark added. “It’s something to look forward to but I’d much rather be going away off the back of winning a game rather than a loss and the manner in which we lost it.

“It’s going to be frustrating over the next couple of days but once you’re there it’s down to focusing on being part of the Scotland set up and a massive game coming up we need to prepare for.  We’ve put ourselves in a great place, all the boys have been excellent over the past few camps, to give ourselves that opportunity to go and do that (qualify) is massive, we’ll prepare for it through the week and make sure were good to go.

“It’s a great group of boys, the whole country is buzzing for Scotland games to come around now. There’s a feel good factor, it’s a tight knit group where everybody gets on well and there’s real quality in the ranks which can only be positive for us as a nation going forward.”

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Scotland can confirm their qualification for the finals in Germany next year if they beat Cyprus and results elsewhere go their way but things are still hugely positive for the national side regardless. Hopefully, Clark and Shankland can bring some of that positivity back with them for Hearts’ next match at home to Aberdeen on September 16.

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