Stephen Kingsley sends strong Hearts message on Europa Conference, Fiorentina and Motherwell League table

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Istanbul Basaksehir lead with six points and Edinburgh are second with three. RFS and traditionally strong Fiorentina are third and fourth respectively with one point each after two matchdays.

The fact that only two games have been played is big on Stephen Kingsley’s mind, one reason the Hearts defender won’t spend much time poring over the section. The other is today’s Premiership match at Motherwell.

Thursday night’s 2-0 win over RFS in Latvia did well rekindle the fire at Hearts after six defeats in seven games. Nevertheless, European competition is now parked with the return of national missions. Back-to-back games against Fiorentina can wait until next month.

“I don’t think we can really look at the board, although that’s probably what Hearts fans are going to do right now,” Kingsley said. “We have to take the positives and learn from Thursday because I think we can do better.

“Fiorentina are a huge club and it’s a huge challenge to play against them. We know we can compete if we’re there. We have to be strong on and off the ball. If we do that, we have every chance. .

“Nights like Thursday are brilliant, especially getting the two goals and the clean sheet. It’s huge for the positivity and the atmosphere in the group. We got a great result and now we have to back it up with a win on Sunday.

“We need a good performance. We didn’t get the results we wanted at Motherwell last season. All eyes are on it now. We can’t afford to think about coming back or getting tired, we have to be 100% ready for Sunday. After this game we can rest, but all eyes are on Sunday now.

Stephen Kingsley is one of Hearts’ key players.

Hearts need to make more forced defensive changes after Craig Halkett’s hamstring injury resurfaced on his return to Riga. Lewis Neilson, his 22nd-minute substitute, is favorite to start at Fir Park.

“I don’t know how many centre-half partnerships I’ve had this season, but that’s because of injuries,” Kingsley admitted. “It’s difficult for us as players to have that kind of inconsistency in your back line.

“I have to admit I thought Lewis did well to come in so early in the game. I think he handled the pressure well, especially on the ball. He made some great interceptions and kept the ball very well for us too, so all the credit goes to him.

At 19, Neilson is a prodigious talent who should only improve with experience. “Even taking age out of the equation, getting into a game this early is still tough,” Kingsley said. he got up and did well.

Hearts head to North Lanarkshire feeling more confident after dispatching RFS and ending a poor results streak. “With the run of games and losses we’ve had, the lack of goals and goals conceded, it was the perfect response,” Kingsley said.

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