First team

Frankie: Electric Tynie can spur us on

23 August 2023

Frankie McAvoy hopes another rocking Tynecastle atmosphere will help drive Hearts in the first leg of our UEFA Europa Conference League play-off with PAOK.


The Greek giants come to Gorgie for another electric European night in Edinburgh, with just one more tie to navigate before the group stages.


McAvoy says the impact of a bumper maroon crowd can’t be overstated, especially with so much up for grabs over the next week.


“It’s another tough tie,” he told the media ahead of the game. “I don’t think many would have fancied us against Rosenborg over the two legs. PAOK are a good team, especially at home, and we need to try and take the initiative tomorrow night.


“It’s a two-legged affair and will feel like a semi-final or a final, depending on how you cut the cake. They’re a good team that will press you high and have threats in the wide areas so will definitely be another tough one for us.


“The most important thing is to be in the game. Our aim is to try and take an advantage to Thessaloniki. At the same time, you don’t want to go gung-ho and get caught because that’s a big strength of theirs.


“We need to cover all bases at home. The crowd will play a big part tomorrow night. Even when we went behind early to Rosenborg, the support was fantastic. Players love that and can get a real kick from it. The noise levels generated was magnificent. For me, that was a driving factor behind us getting the win.”