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Daniel Stendel vows he won’t change his tactics for Celtic


Hearts manager Daniel Stendel insists he will not change his style for Celtic.

However, the 45-year-old admits he needs to try and improve his squad’s fragile mental state following their latest set-back.

The German’s dugout debut for the Gorgie side ended in a narrow 1-0 loss to St Johnstone on Saturday, leaving the team second bottom of the Premiership.

The hosts made an encouraging start to the game as as they implemented Stendel’s trademark high-pressing tactics before Saints ran out deserving winners courtesy of Callum Hendry’s header.

Stendel also quickly realised that the players he inherited from Craig Levein are bereft of confidence, particularly at home in front of a restless support.

The former Barnsley and Hannover 96 manager, however, will demand his team go on the offensive against the league leaders on Wednesday night.

Stendel, who oversaw his first training session last Tuesday, said: “It will be same style (against Celtic) but hopefully a better game. 

“I think the expectation won’t be so high like Saturday and I think the players can leave the pressure more and can play more like they can play. 

“It’s a different game but we want to get the support from the fans and hopefully we can do that.

“It’s more hard work than I expected but the players give me the feeling they’re ready to work hard. We need to change things really quickly.

“Four days is not four weeks and the situation for the players is not easy, they have less confidence. 

“In the first ten, 15 minutes you could see we want to play at the front.”

Stendel admits he will make it his priority ahead of the visit of Neil Lennon’s side to try and repair the team’s shattered confidence.

He added: “We will work hard, I am ready to work and I’m here to change things. 

“I know we can’t change things in four days but we have to do it in a short time.

“The first thing is to change the mind in the head of the players, to have more trust in yourself, your performance and qualities.

“After Saturday, this is the biggest point for me that the players have more belief in themselves.”

Stendel is desperate to have the likes of Steven Naismith, John Souttar, Conor Washington and Peter Haring back from injury and admits he cannot rule out a January overhaul.

He added: “We have four games left this year and we work hard with the players we have at the moment. 

“We hope maybe some can come back from injury but there are no guarantees. 

“I hope when they come back we have more quality to change things.

“Then we talk about what we can do in January.

“The club and I want to give all the players a chance then we need to decide whether they’re the right players or not for us.”

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