Hearts midfielder Sean Clare has said that Daniel Stendel – the club’s new manager – has wasted little time in attempting to instil his own style on the team.
The German is an advocate of ‘gegenpressing’, regaining possession of the ball immediately with a high counter-press, and it was that method that led to him masterminding League One promotion succession with Barnsley last season.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, Stendel’s fellow countryman, is regarded as the pioneer of this brand of football.
Despite only overseeing his first training session on Tuesday, Clare admits supporters should expect to see a different Hearts when St Johnstone visit in tomorrow’s bottom of the table Ladbrokes Premiership encounter.
“He is different and really believes in his style of play,” said Clare.
“We’ve been working hard on it in training, it’s high-intensity football and it’s something that should really help us in games and be something for the fans to watch.
“We had a long meeting where he went through everything he wants from us and everything he wants from his style of football.
“That helped a lot, it helped me personally but I’m sure it helped a lot of people.
“He really made it clear with videos and pictures and it was really helpful.
“We’re all fit but it’s a different kind of fitness. It will take longer to adapt to it mentally in the sense of learning exactly what he wants more than the actual fitness side of it.
“It will take time, like anything, but if we can show glimpses of it at least on Saturday I’m sure we will come away with a good result.”
With only one league victory at home this season, playing at Tynecastle in front of a restless support has arguably become a hindrance to the team.
However, Clare believes Hearts’ fresh approach can galvanise the fans.
He added: “Anyone would like that; chances, goals, crosses, attacking, that is something that’s gone down quite well at Tynecastle while I have been here.
“It is attacking football and fast paced and that should help us going forward.”
Stendel inherits a team currently sitting tenth in the league, with only goal difference separating Hearts from Hamilton and Saints in the relegation zone.
Clare is confident the 45-year-old has the personality to oversee a turnaround in fortunes at the Gorgie side.
He added: “He wants to bring a unity to the team, the fans and everyone involved in Hearts and it’s something new that we needed and hopefully we can kick on from it.
“He comes across as a really nice guy. He’s friendly, jokey and not too serious but he is serious when he needs to be and when we need to listen and work on things.
“He is trying to bring a good feeling to the club. He wants everyone together and there is a real buzz back around the place.”