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Christophe Berra calls for Hearts improvement

Christophe Berra calls for Hearts improvement
© Reuters
The Jambos finished sixth last season.

Hearts captain Christophe Berra admits they have to do better in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Hearts have finished sixth in each of the two seasons since Berra returned to the club and Craig Levein moved back into the dugout.

And the defender knows that only a European place will meet their expectations.

Berra said: "We started last season really, really well then we tailed off quite a lot, we were very inconsistent and the teams around us picked up.

"We weren't consistent enough in the second part of the season and that's what let us down.

"OK, it was great getting to a semi-final and cup final last season and we pushed Celtic all the way but ultimately we want to be finishing as high up the table as possible and we know finishing sixth isn't good enough.

"Where we see us as a club, we want to be finishing in the European places and that's what we will strive for."

Hearts have not had the best build-up to their season opener at Aberdeen on Sunday after being held by Dundee United and East Fife in the Betfred Cup, although they still topped their group.

Berra said: "We have set our standards high and the Hearts fans have high standards and expectations.

"When we are not winning games they will vent their frustrations which is normal, not just at Hearts but at clubs throughout the country.

"It's something as players we need to take on the chin. We know that ultimately we are going to be judged on the league campaign and we have got to make sure we start well."

Meanwhile, Berra has been given a glimmer of hope over his international career by Scotland manager Steve Clarke.

Berra won the last of his 41 caps under caretaker manager Malky Mackay before being overlooked by Alex McLeish and left out of Clarke's first squad.

"I have never ruled it out," the 34-year-old said about his Scotland career.

"The manager had a talk with me and just said at the moment there's younger players, which undoubtedly there is. There's a good crop of young players coming through.

"But he said if I'm playing well next season and one of the best defenders in the league, I'll be picked.

"I am fine with that, my job first and foremost is to play regularly for Hearts and to play to a very good standard."

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Hearts manager Craig Levein pictured in 2017
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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