First Team

We owe fans a performance

11th February 2022

Michael Smith says Hearts owe it to the fans to bounce back with a good performance against Livingston in the Scottish Cup tomorrow.

The Northern Irishman had to sit on the side lines as the Jambos were defeated by Dundee in midweek. All set to return to the fray from injury, the defender says the JTs are keen to make amends.
 
“We were angry at ourselves after the game the other night. We dominated the first 45 and really should’ve put the game out of sight. We weren’t positive or clinical enough in the second half and it came back to bite us,” he told the press ahead of the game.
 
“We owe everyone a good performance: the fans, the manager, ourselves. That’s what we’re looking to go and do.”
 
In his time as one of Hearts’ longest serving squad members, Smith has reached the Hampden finals twice in a maroon jersey but was sadly denied a winner’s medal in 2019 and 2020 despite Hearts pushing Celtic all the way in both matches.  
 
With a fresh opportunity on Saturday, Michael spoke of his desire to make that final step this time round but says the focus must be on getting past a rejuvenated Livingston team first.
 
“We’ve been so close both times that we got there since I’ve been here,” he added.
 
“I would love to get there again and go one better this year. I think over the two finals we gave it a right good go: we took Celtic to penalties last time and it just wasn’t to be. You always need a bit of luck when it comes to cups and winning things – hopefully this time things can fall right for us.
 
“I think every manager and every player would tell you that you try to go out and win every game. Tomorrow will be no different for us, we’ll be looking to go and try and get through to the next round
 
“We’re under no illusions, it’ll be a tough game because Livi are doing well right now. They gave us a really tough game last time at their ground and we know what they’re like so it’s up to us to go and prove ourselves.”