First Team

Feel good factor

9th February 2017

Tasos Avlonitis determined to secure a third straight win this Sunday.

Anastasios Avlonitis is confident his previous derby experiences will stand him in good stead for this Sunday’s clash with Hibs.

The Greek defender, one of nine January signings made by the club, made his Hearts debut as a substitute in the 4-1 win over Rangers. He then started against Motherwell this past Saturday and is now determined to make it three wins out of three against the Hibees.

Speaking to the press ahead of Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup 5th round tie, Tasos revealed this won’t be his first experience of a local rivalry.

“I’ve played in the Olympiakos and Panathinaikos derby before, I actually scored the winner in one game! I came on as a substitute and scored with my first touch,” he explained.

“So I know very well how derbies are. The fans are crazy for it and I know it’s the same here with Hearts and Hibs.

“We want to win so badly. Not only for our fans, but also for ourselves so we can continue our winning run.”

The central defender also paid tribute to his new teammates and coaches for helping to ease his transition into Scottish football.

“When I came here I didn’t know what awaited me, it was my first time in Scotland. The first thing I noticed was how warm the people are here, in the team and everywhere,” said Tasos.

“It is similar to how people are in Greece so that was very helpful to me.

“So I want to thank my teammates and the coaches for immediately making me a member of their family. I’ve enjoyed my time here so far.

“I knew of Takis Fyssas and Karipidis who played here before and that this was a very big club in Scotland. So it wasn’t a difficult decision to come here, I wanted to improve myself here in a tough league.”