Hearts midfielder Arnaud Djoum admits he is looking forward to playing at Murrayfield – after revealing how he thought the home of Scottish rugby was actually Tynecastle when he first arrived in the city.
The Gorgie club take on Aberdeen at the 67,100 capacity arena today in the first of three matches at the stadium as work continues on the club’s new main stand.
And Djoum recalled how he got confused about where he would be playing his football when he joined from Lech Poznan in summer 2015.
Djoum said: “I’ve never been but I live very close to it and everyday I see the stadium and it looks really huge.
“I’m always impressed when I drive by it so I’m really excited to play in it.
“When I first arrived I thought it was Hearts’ stadium. I asked and they said: ‘no, that’s the rugby stadium’.
“After I saw Tynecastle and it was a bit smaller.
“I’ve been involved with the national team and played in stadiums like that.
“It’s really good. All the players want to play in this kind of stadium so it will be a good experience for me and the team.”
Djoum, meanwhile, insists he is in favour of a back to basics approach adopted by returning manager Craig Levein after conceding that the players were left confused by Ian Cathro’s tactics.
Former Newcastle United assistant manager Cathro lost his job as head coach last month after presiding over a scant return of eight victories from 30 matches.
The 31-year-old arrived with the aim of playing expansive, easy-on-the-eye football but, ultimately, Cathro, paid the price for an alarming run of form.
Levein has stressed the need to keep the message simple for the players as the team bid to build confidence and much needed momentum, and Cameroon internationalist Djoum hopes clear heads can lead to improved results.
He said: “It’s really important to get back to basics, do simple things.
“The way we wanted to play at the start of the season, you had to think a lot about details and little things.
“I understand he (Levein) wants to be more basic, simple football and don’t try to think so much when you play your game.
“I understand that and in the last two weeks we’ve tried to do that whereas before some players were maybe confused about what they need to do.
“With him I think it will be back to normality.
“We need stability, not a lot of changes.”
Djoum also believes the fact that Levein is no a stranger to the players will ease the transition, with the former Scotland manager having served as director of football at Tynecastle for the last three seasons.
“The manager was there from the start and he knows what he’s talking about,” added Djoum.
“With him it’s a good call to be there and I think he will do good things.
“It’s an important call the club made to put him in charge and the players have a lot of respect for him.
“Sometimes he came on to the training field to speak to the players about how they feel and he gives some advice for the game.
“He was always very close to the team and he’s been there for a long time so he knows the club and the team.
“He knows how I play so that’s why I think it’s a good decision because, when you take someone else, you need to get to know the players but he knows everyone already. I think it will be better.”