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Christophe Berra looking forward to "big lift" of new manager

Christophe Berra looking forward to
© Reuters
Christophe Berra says new manager would give Hearts a much-needed lift

Hearts skipper Christophe Berra admits they need a "big lift" that a new manager would provide.

But he warned his team-mates an appointment will be no magic bullet and they have to work harder and improve performances.

Austin MacPhee will take interim charge for a sixth game when Hearts travel to Motherwell on Saturday without the injured Steven Naismith.

A late equaliser against Livingston at Tynecastle on Wednesday failed to spare the players from the frustrations of supporters, who are keen for owner Ann Budge to finalise a move for Daniel Stendel.

But with Barnsley seeking compensation for the manager they removed from his post two months ago, Berra has called for his team-mates to focus on getting better themselves.

Berra said: "Obviously we read the press and hear rumours. Don't get us wrong, we are like anyone, there is frustration but our job is to turn up every day in training and do what Austin wants us to do and win games. And that's the biggest frustration, we have not been winning games.

"I'm sure it will give us a big lift when someone does come in. We do need it, there is no doubt about that, I think everyone can see it.

"But our focus is to win games and that starts again at Motherwell."

The defender added: "Let's be honest, this separates the men from the boys. Some of the guys will need to stand up and be counted.

"It's not an easy circumstance, fans are getting frustrated for obvious reasons. On Wednesday there were jeers, moans and groans, but you need to be thick-skinned. If you can't take it, you won't last in this game.  We should be doing a lot better than we are."

Hearts are only a point off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership and Berra accepts they are in a battle.

"We are not naive," he said. "Okay on paper we have good players, but at the minute we are not a good team. Let's be honest, the points show that. We need a big improvement and we need to gel as a team.

"There are a lot of games left to play but the games get less and less so we need to make sure we are on it.

"We are in for a fight, no matter what. Teams are better prepared in this day and age and the league overall is difficult."

The 34-year has been kept updated on the recruitment process but does not feel all players need to know everything.

"Ann came in the other day and had a word with me, I know the situation and the players are briefly aware of it as well," he said. "But sometimes if you give players too much information, it's not good.

"You just need to worry about what you need to do on the training field and take care of yourself and first of all get your head right.

"If you are not having a great day, people say run about and put tackles in. We need more of that and when someone comes in hopefully it does give us the boost we need. But don't think it's just going to change like that.

"It's going to be a lot of hard work and people need to realise that. Things will change as well and if people don't come along, they will drift by the wayside."

Hearts are still waiting on a full diagnosis of Naismith's latest hamstring problem.

"He got a bang in the challenge with Marvin Bartley and then, when he went to control the ball, felt something in his hamstring," MacPhee said.

"We are still waiting for the results but we hope at worst it is a grade one and maybe more neural. He shouldn't be out too long but he will miss the Motherwell game."

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Daniel Stendel in charge of Barnsley on March 23, 2019
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32211669
United StatesUnited States24282173
JapanJapan1961136
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· 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)

ATHLETICS
· 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)

SAILING
· 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)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· 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)

FOOTBALL
· 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)

CYCLING
· 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)

BOXING
· 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
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers11003033
2Aberdeen11002023
3Hibernian11003213
4Hearts11002113
5Dundee10102201
6St Mirren10102201
7Ross County10100001
8St Johnstone10100001
9Motherwell100123-10
10Celtic100112-10
11Dundee UnitedDundee Utd100102-20
12Livingston100103-30

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