Date: 5th May 2007 at 8:23pm
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On Sky

It’s the match that could see Aberdeen finally qualify for Europe or see Hearts cut the Dons league lead to just one point. We don’t have long to wait and it’s getting hotter by the minute.

Vital Quotes:

Both camps have expressed their view on the dodgy rule that WILL allow Laryea Kingston to play and of course, some are happier than others.

Jimmy Calderwood has his say first on the bizarre situation that if Hearts appeal his current SPL 3 match ban, which they are, he can play in the remainder of their games.

Jimmy said ‘I can’t say it is a surprise, in reference to the Hearts appeal.

Put it like this, he has always been in their plans.

There are too many grey areas in these kind of situations and they are being exploited.

As it is, Hearts are entitled to do what they have done, so we just have to get on with things.’

Hearts assistant coach Steven Frail gave his point of view in the saga.

I think we have got to be seen to appeal it,’ he said.

Laryea is incredibly sorry for what happened and he’s apologised for it.

But if it’s playing the system then I’m sure other teams have done it.

If he can play until an appeal is heard then we have to use that to our advantage.’

All fair points but surely the SFA will now look at this case and re-address these laws as they seem to have more twists than Laryea’s hair.

On to the important part, the match and Jimmy thinks his team have shown enough times already that they fully deserve to qualify.

‘Hearts are on a good run of form at the moment but we know that it is in our hands. We most certainly deserve to get there; we just need to finish it off. We have got a squad of brilliant players and this Sunday we require some of the more experienced of those players to step up to the mantle. This season we have played well against Hearts and we have beaten them at Tynecastle. We played probably the best we have against them when we got beat, some things work in your favour, others don’t. Tynecastle is a great place to play and to have our full allotment of tickets sold, just adds to the excitement of both the fans and us.

‘Going into the game on Sunday we are confident, but not overly so. We should have had it wrapped up by now but all credit goes to Hearts for sticking in and challenging us all the way to end. A draw on Sunday would still put us in a strong position. It’s obviously not ideal but it’s definitely not the worst outcome. Although it would be great to get it done on Sunday if it has to go to the second last or even the last game of the season well that’s just the way it goes.

‘Nevertheless I am confident that we are going to get into Europe, no matter what happens we will be completely involved in the football until the very last game of the season.’ ‘The players know just how important Sunday’s game is to everyone involved with the club. We are 90 minutes away from qualifying for Europe, everyone has been working so hard towards this goal and we know that Sunday is a large task.’

‘Aberdeen’s a club that’s got a great history in Europe so it would be great to get back in there. It would be great for the board, the supporters and the players alike. It would take our players to another level. However we have no divine right to be where we are today, we have worked hard for years and it is now coming into fruition.’

Steven Frail:-I wish I was in Aberdeen’s position in the SPL at the moment. They are in the driving seat and they know if they win this weekend they’ve qualified for Europe.

‘If we win our remaining three games it will mean four victories out of five against the other sides in the top six in recent weeks and that would be a terrific achievement.

‘We’ve given ourselves a great chance of finishing third and that’s all we could have asked for a few weeks ago.

‘The players deserve credit for that and hopefully they’ll be taking credit again after the match on Sunday.

‘I’ve no worries about our squad being up for this one because of what they have achieved lately.

‘We had a massive win against Kilmarnock, a huge win at Hibs and then that great win at Celtic on Sunday.

‘We’ve dragged ourselves back into the race for a European place and given ourselves extra belief in the process when it looked like we were out of it at one stage.’

Hearts Team News:

A bizarre week of court rulings mean that Hearts will recoup the reported £35,000 fines incurred by Vladimir Romanov for his bonkers monkey comments through the whacking £625,000 Andy Webster has been told to pay back for wages he didn’t earn.

For more indepth coverage of these bizarre events, log into Vital Hearts as I don’t need the brain damage of trying work it all out.

Player to watch: Laryea Kingston

After a week of trying to find loopholes that would allow him to play, he must now prove that he was worth the effort. He has recently been the Jambos best player by all accounts and if there was a chance that Aberdeen could have used the laws to get Russell Anderson valid to play, they’d have done the same.

Aberdeen Team News:

Aberdeen’s biggest problem no matter who Hearts field is the loss of their captain Russell Anderson through suspension. As well as Russ missing out, Richie Byrne is predictably injured again and is joined on the sidelines by countryman and Yeovil bound Gary Dempsey.

In Russell’s absence, ex-Jambo Scott Severin will be the Dons skipper for the day.

Player to watch: Scott Severin

The Ex-Jambo returns and as captain for the day. He may be used in defence but wherever he plays he could be the difference in getting a good result or not.

That fact is not lost on his manager who is only too aware of Seve’s qualities and said ‘It still amazes me that Hearts let Seve go.

‘I know he is keen to go back to Tynecastle tomorrow and show them just how good a player he really is.

‘Seve has certainly been a wonderful free transfer for us.

‘He will have some extra responsibility because he will be captain in Russell’s absence.

‘But Seve will relish that, especially if it means being able to walk off the pitch at the end with a place in Europe secured.’

Match Facts & Stats

Ref Watch:

Brian Winter will be the man in black or day-glow yellow for this vital SPL clash.
The Wizard Of Oz fan doesn’t favour Law 12 of the game which is when a Penalty is awarded for a foul inside the Penalty Area where a Direct Scoring Opportunity is prevented as he says he would ‘scrap the Red Card’.

Next Fixtures:

An easy three points as the Dons travel to Champions Celtic but with hopefully their Euro place already guaranteed.