First team

Experience the key

09 August 2023

Lawrence Shankland believes last season’s European exploits can help Hearts in their Europa Conference League qualifier against Rosenborg on Thursday night.


The Jambos faced eight European matches last season and the Hearts skipper believes the experience gained on that journey will stand the Jambos in good stead this time around.


Speaking to the media at the pre-match press conferene at the Lerkendal Stadium, Shankland said:


“The quality of opposition you face in Europe is very very high. We have had the experience of that now. Yes, we had a couple of tough lessons last season, but the biggest thing for us now is to learn from them and take the key points on how we can improve as a team.


“So then coming into the match tomorrow night, against a good side, we should know how to go about the game a bit better than what we did last year.”


The Jambos face a tough test against Norwegian side Rosenborg and while acknowledging the quality of the opponent, Shankland believes Hearts are fully aware of the problems they can cause the home side if the men in maroon perform to the best of their ability.


“Rosenborg are obviously a good side, and they can cause us problems if we let them, but we have done our analysis on them and we know how we can hurt them, so it’s up to us to be defensively solid and then be a threat going the other way.


“It’s a qualification game for a European competition so of course, there will be that competitive edge to it, but I’m sure both teams will go out there and try to play football.


“Rosenborg are a good footballing side, but so are we. So, it’s important we stamp our authority on the game and cause them problems.


“We’ve worked on how we want to implement our shape and that is probably slightly different to what they have faced before, so hopefully, if we do that to the best of our ability, we feel we’ve got a good chance of creating chances and hopefully scoring goals.


“However, these games are over two legs. Nothing is won or lost on Thursday night. You don’t go too gung-ho if you’re behind, as you’ve got the second leg to come.


“But if we can get a win tomorrow night it puts us in a really good position going back to Tynecastle and that’s what we’ll be looking to do”