Peter Cormack: Every underdog has their day
MY LOYALTIES usually lie with Liverpool. You can only imagine running out in front of 40,000 fans at Anfield every second week, only imagine how that makes you feel. It’s like being an entertainer heading on stage.
Liverpool will always be my club, but if Hearts were to get a win on Thursday, let’s just say I wouldn’t be too disappointed, even though I played for Hibs. In fact, as an Edinburgh man, there’s a bit of me who wants a Hearts win.
I’m hoping to go to both games. My son-in-law is a Hearts fan and I think the game on Thursday will be a sell-out so the atmosphere should be good. Liverpool is a team known for European football. It is a club that despite not meeting the high expectations in recent years, still have an aura about them so the Hearts players will be looking forward to the game.
In my days at Liverpool, the fact it was Liverpool was enough but now players from outwith England know they are also playing one of the top teams in one of the top leagues in the world. You just need to mention teams like Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea to cause a bit of excitement.
These are the kind of games that are good for Hearts, not just the club but the fans and the players. We know how things ended last season, against Tottenham, but that just gives the players more of an incentive. It was the same when we played down there, when the Scottish players had been away on international duty and we headed back to the dressing room after a defeat, it always made us try even harder. I think that’s part of your character, you want to prove that there’s nothing wrong with the Scottish game. Of course, nowadays, it’s so hard. The English Premier League is a different world from the top league up here. Now you could take the money it cost to buy two, maybe even one of their players and you could buy an entire SPL team, maybe even the club!
So it’s not a level playing field and Hearts will be the underdogs but we have all seen underdogs come out on top before, especially in cup competitions. Hearts just need to try to enjoy themselves, not give anything away too early and go out and have a go and I think they will try to do that, especially at Tynecastle.
For the players, it’s a chance to show everyone what they can do and many of them will raise their game. In my day, three or four from every 20 would head down south, now the clubs are all scouting looking for maybe that one diamond. But they do still keep an eye on the Scottish game so it is the players’ chance to catch the eye and the best players thrive in that environment.
It’s like a performer, like Rod Stewart, taking to the stage in front of a huge stadium crowd, they feed off that and so do footballers. The bigger the game, the better the atmosphere, the better the players perform. The fans at Tynecastle will do their bit to lift them, the stage is already set and now it’s up to the players. I hope they do well. Maybe a couple of score draws but I’d be happy to see them sneak it on away goals.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
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