BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Hearts may have been happy enough to concentrate efforts on storming their way to the Championship title last season – but this term Morgaro Gomis insists they have cup silverware firmly in their sights.
The former Dundee United midfielder knows back-to-back league titles are out of their reach as they prepare to return to the Premiership just 12 months after relegation.
The Tynecastle outfit will celebrate that runaway promotion by unfurling the league flag before Sunday’s top-flight clash with St Johnstone.
But, first, Robbie Neilson’s outfit kick-off the new campaign with a League Cup tie at home to Arbroath tonight (Thursday).
And Gomis sees no reason why a victory shouldn’t kick-start a run that could take them all the way to the final.
But, having lost to Celtic in both cup competitions last year, the Frenchman knows they need the luck of the draw this time round to be in with a shout of more silverware.
The 30-year-old, a Scottish Cup winner with United in 2010, said: “I think it’s important to do well in the cups.
“It’s hard to win the Premiership but the cups give you a chance to win something.
“When you play in the cup you just never know; anything can happen.
“It would be nice to go as far as we can.
“Last season was disappointing in the cups because we wanted to go far.
“But we weren’t very lucky in the draw – we got Celtic in both cups, which makes it a hard game straight away.
“But we’ll keep our fingers crossed and see what happens this time.
“I think any team can do it, just sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t. We’ll see what happens.”
The 30-year-old has struggled through pre-season with a thigh injury that has kept him out of all but two of Hearts’ warm-up games.
But the former Cowdenbeath and Birmingham City midfielder returned to action in Sunday’s friendly against Everton and admits the 3-1 defeat was an education.
He added: “It was good. It’s always good to play against the top teams. They kept the ball really well, so it was hard for us to play, but I thought we did okay and it was good to get a game.
“It’s always nice when you play against big-name players and a team like Everton. You learn from that, from playing against teams like that and the way they play.
“Obviously, hopefully we can learn from it and take it into our own game when we play week-in, week-out in the Premiership this season.
“You can see the difference. They are really composed on the ball and they know their jobs – A to B they know what to do.
“It’s something we need to look at and learn from. It was good to play against them.”
Tonight, though, will be a completely different kettle of fish.
He went on: “We won’t be expecting Arbroath to play like Everton!
“It won’t be the same kind of game but we’ll just have to come out and try and do our best to win the game.”