Steven MacLean hopes there will be a bumper crowd inside Tynecastle for Sunday’s Betfred Cup match against Inverness Caledonian Thistle because he believes big crowds bring out the best in him.
7,500 Jambos watched the striker open his Tynecastle account in midweek against Cowdenbeath, and he’s looking for even more fans through the turnstiles for Sunday’s winner-takes-all match because he thinks all footballers thrive in front of packed stands.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference today, Steven said: “I played at Tynecastle before and I was on the other side of it…getting a wee bit of abuse from the fans!
“It was good (to play there on Tuesday). Obviously it wasn’t a full house but for the 7,000 or so fans that turned up they were excellent.
“Hopefully there will be a few more on Sunday as well and I’m looking forward to there being a full house and playing in front of big crowds, and hopefully winning games and doing well for Hearts.
“Playing in front of big crowds will definitely bring the best out of me.
“All through my career I’ve enjoyed the big games and always wanted to play in the big games as well.
“Playing in front of a packed Tynecastle, I think it can only bring the best out of any player.
“I think that’s what footballers aspire to and I’m no different.”
A win for Hearts will see the Jambos top Group C and advance to the next round. Steven feels his side isn’t under any added pressure, because of the high standards that are expected of them in every match.
“There is pressure on every game at Hearts,” he said. “I think if you’d given us this position after what happened with taking the points off of us, we’d have snapped your hands off.
“It’s in our hands. It’s a game that we’re looking forward to.
“It’s gong to be a good game, Inverness are going well, but its one where if we play well then hopefully we can win the game.
“We’ve got to be looking at winning and qualifying for the next round.”
Steven’s press conference is available to watch in full on HeartsTV.