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                                                    Ryan Stevenson (32 mins)
                                                    Callum Paterson (54 mins)

                                                    Clydesdale Bank Premier League , Dec 8, 2012
                                                    Ground: Tynecastle Stadium , Kickoff: 15:00 , Att 14,410

                                                    Team news

                                                    Duo in doubt for Jambos Arvydas Novikovas is doubtful and Darren Barr could also miss out when Hearts face Aberdeen.

                                                    Winger Novikovas suffered an ankle injury and midfielder Barr a knock in the 1-0 Edinburgh derby loss at Hibernian. Barr is also suffering from shin splints, which will need to be monitored.

                                                    Jason Holt (ankle), Dylan McGowan (hip) and Danny Grainger (knee) will miss out, while Jamie Hamill is continuing his rehabilitation from his knee injury.

                                                    Ryan Stevenson believes the onus is on the Hearts players to improve on-field fortunes.

                                                    The 28-year-old midfielder left Hearts for Ipswich last January, upset at persistent delays in wages, but returned to Edinburgh in August, despite the threat of more severe financial woes at Tynecastle.

                                                    That threat has transpired, but Stevenson is confident action is being taken to stabilise the club and has called for the players to do their bit.

                                                    "This time it's been dealt with a lot better by everyone," Stevenson said.

                                                    "All I asked for was honesty. That's all the fans ask for. That's what we as players ask for.

                                                    "We can't really use what's happening off the park as an excuse now.

                                                    "More than anything we need to start stepping up to the plate on the pitch and put the off-field stuff to one side.

                                                    "Off the park we're trying to get there and I think we will get there.

                                                    "Everyone at Tynecastle from Sergejus (director Sergejus Fedotovas) to David (Southern, the managing director), everyone that's down there is working their tails off to try to make sure the club stays safe.

                                                    "It's time we start doing that on the park as well. It's down to the players to produce it on the pitch. We're the only ones who can turn it round." Teenage winger Ryan Fraser will miss Aberdeen's Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Hearts with a hip injury after rejecting a new contract offer from the Dons.

                                                    Fraser has been a revelation this season, despite being hit by a number of niggling injuries, but his contract expires at the end of the campaign.

                                                    Brown told Aberdeen's official website: "The club made the player what was the best offer they possibly could and it's very disappointing that he has chosen to see his future elsewhere.

                                                    "It was indicated to the club that Ryan believes he is ready to play at a higher level than the SPL and I have to say I think that is the wrong decision.

                                                    "He would be far better to continue to learn his trade here with Aberdeen and I only want players here who are 100% committed to Aberdeen Football Club." Stephen Hughes is nearing a return but Gary Naysmith has suffered a setback in his bid to overcome a calf problem.

                                                    Rory Fallon should recover from a dead leg but Ryan Jack, Rob Milsom, Chris Clark, Clark Robertson and Isaac Osbourne remain out.

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                                                    Hearts vs Aberdeen

                                                    Last modified 17:14 08/12/12

                                                    Hearts bounce back Hearts responded to their William Hill Scottish Cup exit against arch-rivals Hibernian with a deserved 2-0 victory over Aberdeen at Tynecastle.

                                                    Hearts relinquished their hold on the Scottish Cup at the first hurdle last Sunday, but took a half-time lead on their return to Clydesdale Bank Premier League action courtesy of Ryan Stevenson's 31st-minute penalty, his first goal since his August return.

                                                    Callum Paterson, an interval replacement for the injured Stevenson, doubled the lead after 54 minutes and Aberdeen were frustrated by Jamie MacDonald, who made a number of sharp saves.

                                                    The Dons, it seems, cannot score against Hearts. Their wait to find the net against the men in maroon was extended to eight matches, the last strike coming in January 2010.

                                                    Aberdeen have the chance on Tuesday to put the loss behind them in the Scottish Cup replay at Motherwell, while seventh-placed Hearts are out of the competition they won so convincingly against Hibs in May, but they now trail their capital rivals by six points in a congested SPL table.

                                                    The end of a three-match winless run eases on-field concerns for Hearts, who next meet St Johnstone.

                                                    A banner unfurled at the away end read 'Paying tax since 1903', referring to Hearts' myriad of financial issues, which this week saw a winding-up order averted and a separate agreement made to pay #1.5million over the next three years.

                                                    Stevenson left last January over financial frustrations, but returned from Ipswich in August with his eyes open, he said this week.

                                                    Manager John McGlynn has repeatedly bemoaned his side's lack of cutting edge up front, comments which have baffled some given his reluctance to utilise John Sutton, who started as one of three changes following a five-game absence from the first XI.

                                                    Sutton scored 17 goals at Motherwell before moving to Edinburgh and spent the second half of last season on loan at Central Coast Mariners in Australia's A-League after falling out of favour under Paulo Sergio, and he has remained a peripheral figure this term.

                                                    Hearts were on the defensive as the Dons, rejuvenated in almost exactly two years since losing Craig Brown's first match in charge at Tynecastle 5-0, began on top.

                                                    Jonny Hayes and Sutton exchanged early shots before Hearts, with Gordon Smith included up front alongside Sutton, found their feet.

                                                    Full-back Ryan McGowan's cross narrowly evaded his team-mates, Jamie Langfield blocked as Sutton attempted to turn in a crowded area and McGowan headed wide from a corner.

                                                    The Dons had chances too. Andy Webster made a block with Niall McGinn lurking and a Hayes cross went through to Jamie MacDonald, who then saved well as the winger cut inside to shoot with his favoured left foot.

                                                    Hearts were awarded a penalty when Andrew Driver's corner was directed towards McGowan, who, with referee Euan Norris in close attendance, was hauled down by Josh Magennis. Stevenson converted right-footed into the top left corner.

                                                    Stevenson required treatment before half-time as a result of a clash of heads and Paterson took his place on the right, but offered more width.

                                                    Paterson blasted wildly over from McGowan's knock-down, but the 18-year-old found the net shortly afterwards.

                                                    Hearts burst down the right, Smith stumbled, but quickly regained his feet, to beat Joe Shaughnessy and cut the ball back for Paterson to drill the ball into the opposite corner. It was his fourth of the season.

                                                    Aberdeen pressed forward and MacDonald saved from Scott Vernon.

                                                    Jamie Masson shot over and his fellow substitute Declan McManus straight at MacDonald as Hearts absorbed the pressure once more, with Sutton a useful outlet.

                                                    Denis Prychynenko and Marius Zaliukas had long-range shots saved by Langfield and McManus failed to cleanly connect as Magennis' long throw dropped for him at the other end.

                                                    Team Line-ups

                                                    Player rating out of ten Player name Substitution Did they score? Player's disciplinary record Rating
                                                    1 Jamie MacDonald
                                                    4 Ryan McGowan
                                                    6 Andy Webster
                                                    26 Marius Zaliukas
                                                    29 Kevin McHattie
                                                    10 Mehdi Taouil(sub 77)
                                                    5 Darren Barr
                                                    7 Ryan Stevenson(sub 45) Goal
                                                    11 Andrew Driver
                                                    9 John Sutton
                                                    12 Gordon Smith(sub 67)
                                                    21 Peter Enckelman
                                                    14 Jamie Walker
                                                    16 Denis Prychynenko(sub 77)
                                                    32 Billy King
                                                    33 Callum Paterson(sub 45) Goal
                                                    37 Dale Carrick(sub 67)
                                                    40 Adam King
                                                    Player rating out of ten Player name Did they score? Player's disciplinary record Substitution Rating
                                                    1 Jamie Langfield
                                                    21 Josh Magennis
                                                    4 Russell Anderson(sub 60)
                                                    22 Mark Reynolds
                                                    6 Andrew Considine
                                                    11 Johnny Hayes
                                                    38 Cameron Smith(sub 60)
                                                    5 Gavin Rae
                                                    23 Joe Shaughnessy
                                                    10 Niall McGinn
                                                    9 Scott Vernon(sub 77)
                                                    32 Jason Brown
                                                    14 Rory Fallon(sub 60)
                                                    19 Mitchel Megginson
                                                    24 Jordon Brown
                                                    25 Jamie Masson(sub 60)
                                                    34 Declan McManus(sub 77)
                                                    35 Craig Murray

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