Football - McGlynn pays Lippi service

Hearts manager John McGlynn is refusing to panic amid criticism from some supporters and the club's struggle to make the top six of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

PA Sport
Football - McGlynn pays Lippi service
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Boss John McGlynn is confident Hearts can put up a good response to criticism

McGlynn is enduring one of the most testing debut seasons possible as the club battle to survive around financial worries that saw them stave off a winding-up petition before Christmas.

Hearts fell eight points off the top half of the table following their 3-2 defeat by Inverness on Saturday, but McGlynn is not getting uptight ahead of Wednesday night's clash with St Mirren, despite the Paisley clash taking on the look of a must-win game for both sides' top-six hopes.

And McGlynn's assuredness is strengthened by the memory of a lecture by former Italy World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi. "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger," he said. "We had quite a difficult season last season at Raith Rovers and you get through it.

"I went to a Pro Licence presentation with Marcello Lippi and even guys like him are going to go through spells where their teams are not doing particularly well.

"That's what gets you through it, at that time I was at Raith Rovers and it wasn't going quite so well. Even the top managers go through spells where the teams are maybe not doing so well and you have to get through it.

"Roy Hodgson didn't have the greatest time at Liverpool but it didn't make him a bad manager, because he goes to West Brom and does a good job. You have to just get through these things."

St Mirren boss Danny Lennon wants his players to show the mental toughness that will earn them a place in the top six. Saints have lost their last two games against Hibernian and St Johnstone after putting in meek displays.

Lennon, whose side are a point behind Hearts, said: "Since November, we have set some high standards but the last couple of games we have let those standards drop. These other teams know how to dig in and get winning results. When we have to grind out results, we do well just to get a draw, we never seem to push on for the victory.

"When things aren't going the way you want it to in terms of passing and creating things, you have got to go and do the ugly side of it with complete concentration. That's what we haven't been doing these last few weeks."

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