First Team

Toon a tough test

13th July 2017

Christophe Berra anticipating challenging Newcastle encounter but insists it will be the perfect preparation for Betfred Cup.

Christophe Berra believes Friday’s friendly match against Newcastle United will serve as the perfect warm up ahead of next week’s start to the competitive season.

Ian Cathro’s men host Rafa Benitez’s side at Tynecastle on Friday night and the captain sees it as a great opportunity to fine tune things on the pitch before Tuesday’s Betfred Cup clash against Elgin City.

Speaking to the media this afternoon, he said: “Newcastle are a top team. Actually, in my last game against them (for Ipswich) we beat them 3-1 in the league.

“They’re full of quality players who want to be playing in the Premier League and would’ve thought last year that they should’ve been playing in the Premier League.

“They’re a team full of quality and we know it’s going to be a tough game. It’s a game we need to work hard in, get that extra bit of fitness as well, work on tactical things, but our bread and butter does start on Tuesday night in the League Cup.”

Friday night’s game will see Christophe pull on a Hearts shirt for the first time since 2009, when a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers saw him spend eight years in England’s top two tiers, before returning north to rejoin the Jambos this summer.

He insists it was always his ambition to return home, and to the club where he made a name for himself.

“I always thought of coming back,” said Christophe. “It’s going to be a strange experience because half the stand is still not up yet, but it’s a great place to play your football.

“Hopefully it will be a big crowd and I’m sure all of the boys will be looking forward to it, and the new signing as well.”

Christophe’s press conference is available to watch in full on HeartsTV.

Tickets for Friday night’s friendly match against Newcastle are on general sale, priced at £20 for adults and £10 for concessions (Over 65s, Students, Under 18s and Under 13s).

Fans can purchase their tickets from 9am on the 7th via the club’s three sales channels: online at Hearts eTickets, over the phone by calling 0333 043 1874, option 1 then 1 or in person at the Hearts Ticket Office situated in the Wheatfield Stand Undercroft.

Season ticket holders who have taken up the club’s ‘seat guarantee’ option are reminded that this offer does not take effect until September 9th, when the new Main Stand is scheduled to open.