Daniel Stendel: Hearts boss demands improvement as his side aims for Scottish Cup fifth round tie against Falkirk


Hearts manager Daniel Stendel has called on his side to bounce back from midweek disappointment when they take on Falkirk tomorrow night in the Scottish Cup fifth round.

The Jambos go into Saturday’s game off the back of a 3-2 home defeat to Kilmarnock, a result which left the Edinburgh side bottom of the Scottish Premiership.

Stendel said: “I think Wednesday was a big disappointment, we want to play so much better than we played. This situation is passed and the future is Falkirk tomorrow.

“We keep our confidence and we try to change it. This is pressure, yes, but everyone has this in professional football, we have to win.”

The German has declared that he will keep faith in goalkeeper Joel Pereira after a string of high-profile errors from the goalkeeper, having let in six goals in their last two games.

He said: “I am happy with our goalkeepers. Yes, we know that there was a mistake especially with the third goal [against Kilmarnock]. It’s not one player at fault for conceding the goals.

“Yes, when a goalkeeper makes a mistake everyone can see it but we train and we looked after him and we decided together [to play him].”

Saturday’s opponents Falkirk needed a replay to reach the fifth round, beating Arbroath 2-0 after a goalless first tie, with former Jambos striker Conor Sammon amongst the goal scorers, while Hearts defeated Airdrie 5-0 at Tynecastle.

The Bairns sit second in League One and are unbeaten since the appointment of management duo Lee Miller and David McCracken in November last year.

Stendel is looking to use the cup as a way to pick up Hearts’ league fortunes.

He said: “We can use every game to lift ourselves after Wednesday, it’s a good chance to show our ambitions. We want to win this game and get into the next round. We want to win every game but especially we demand to show that we can play better.”

“Your dream is to win the cup, whether in Scotland or in Germany. The chance is there, we stand at the moment in the league at the bottom but I think that we can win against every team.

“At the moment, we have some difficult situations in the league but if we play how we can play, we showed that we can win.”

Michael Smith is back in contention for selection, after missing the last four games with injury.

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