Hearts’ Sean Clare says Daniel Stendel’s new style will start straightaway

New Hearts manager Daniel Stendel has shaken up training but Sean Clare says it will be up to the players to show how the new approach can help kickstart their season.

Sean Clare and the rest of the Hearts squad visited young patients at Edinburghs Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

Stendel has been quick to highlight his priorities on and off the park as he seeks to implement new tactics and a more high-tempo approach and, according to Clare, there should be evidence of that in tomorrow’s Premiership game against St Johnstone.

Clare said: “We had a long meeting where he went through everything he wants from us and everything he wants from his style of football. That helped a lot, it helped personally but I’m sure it helped a lot of people. He really made it clear with videos and pictures and it was really helpful.

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“We did our best on the pitch and so did the [previous] gaffer but it’s good to have a plan going forward and hopefully we can start to climb the table.

“He is different and really believes in his style of play. He wants to bring a unity to the team, fans and everyone at Hearts and it’s something we needed. Hopefully we can kick on.”

German Stendel, who met his squad on Tuesday, now has to build confidence and prove to the disenchanted supporters that work is being done to turn around a sorry start to the campaign.

With 16 Premiership games gone, Hearts have won just two and sit 10th in the league, on the same points tally as the two teams below them. One of those is the Perth side who will provide the opposition at Tynecastle in Stendel’s first game in charge.

Although early in the transformation, Clare believes there will be signs of the new man’s methodology in action.

“He is really focused on one style of play and really believes in it,” said Clare.

“We’ve been working hard on it in training, it’s high-intensity football and it’s something that should really help us in games and be something for the fans to watch.”

While Stendel has his laid out the gameplan and is drilling his new charges on how best to deliver it, the new manager bounce will only be evident if the players show a willingness to embrace that on-field 

“It has to come from the 
players,” stated midfielder
Clare, who has struggled recently and will be hoping he has a place in the revised approach and can kick on.

“There can sometimes be a reaction when a new manager comes in because people are trying to fight for their place but, at the end of the day, it has to come from the players, whatever manager is in charge. We are on the pitch and tactics can be this or that but we need to work hard to resurrect our season.

“We’re professional footballers, we’re all fit but it’s a different kind of fitness. It will take longer to adapt to it mentally in the sense of learning exactly what he wants more than the actual fitness side of it. I don’t think it will take too long, we’ve got a good squad, people who understand football, experience and youth. I think we’ve got all the elements to follow through with his plan and do well.

Hearts will play four of their five games ahead of the winter break at home and, while the environment has been testing for the home side this season, Clare believes that could be about to chnage.

“Clarifying who is in charge will be good for the fans as well as us and, if we can really pack out the stadium, and create an atmosphere then it makes it hostile,” added Clare.

“We know it’s a tighter pitch so we can press even more than on other pitches, and that could help.”