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Here are a couple articles with Kevin McKenna from www.heartsfc.co.uk.

McKenna: More experience for Europe this time

02.05.04 - Kevin McKenna had just finished a shift on the left wing. Yes, that was the left wing I said, when he came to speak to Hearts News following the Jambos win at Tannadice, over Dundee United. He was, naturally, thrilled to have played his part in securing more UEFA Cup football for his side.

Moments earlier his manager, Craig Levein, had joked, not for the first time, or the hundredth, that he really wasn’t quite sure where Kevin is most effectively deployed. He said: You’re asking me, but I have played him in just about everywhere, so obviously I don’t know!”

The Canadian International defender (or was that striker) has been used all over the park this season but he admitted that his last six months, spent almost exclusively up front, had been really enjoyable.

Coming off the fence, almost, for the first time as far as these matters are concerned, he commented: ”I feel happy playing in attack and helping Hearts score goals. I have been playing up front since Christmas and I am enjoying it.

“It’s good, for us to have a big physical side. It is important- and I thought it went well today, it was a good away performance.”

Kevin then turned to the more serious matter of European football, next season, and importantly, how the Gorgie Boys can improve. He said: “We are definitely delighted about being in Europe now. I think it shows how consistent we have been in the last couple of seasons.

“I think that we know what to expect this time. After the first game it is not over. We won the first game over there [bordeaux 1-0] and I think we thought we had won it, and I think we’ll show that we have more experience.”

Kevin, always an absolutely tremendous sport, took a moment to praise the development of Ian McCall’s Arabs. “I think Dundee United are a class side,” he said. “Where they have come from the beginning of the season to now, I think they are moulding together, and they are a good side.”

But back to the celebrations in the Jambos end, and as ever, the role of Hearts’ supporters has been crucial as far as the Canadian is concerned. “They have been tremendous,” he said. “They have followed us everywhere. It has been a good season, all around, for everybody- for the fans, the players and the manager, and backroom staff.”

Kevin: Football is a physical game!

07.05.04 - It’s only six days since Canadian international Kevin McKenna last spoke to Hearts News but he found plenty to talk about as he reflected back on last week’s triumph at Tannadice and looked forward to the visit of third-place chasing Dunfermline tomorrow.

Asked if the mood in the camp was a good one following the 2-0 win over Dundee United, Kevin confirmed it was: “Yeah, the team morale is high but we’re normally in good spirits during the week and nothing was different this time round. To go into an important game tomorrow with a good result last week is pleasing for us.”

Many Jambos thought third place was sealed last Saturday but the Pars surprised just about everyone by ruining Celtic’s title party a day later, with a makeshift team: “They were brilliant last week. I watched it on TV and they played really well. I don’t think it’s significant they had some first team players out as they have a lot of good players capable of coming in and winning matches. It’s not all about Brewster and Crawford. Either way, it makes it more interesting tomorrow.”

Last weekend again saw an SPL manager attacking Hearts for being over-physical and this is not the first time the manager in question has done that. Kevin was correctly dismissive of this: “I try not to listen to that stuff – I mean give me a break! It’s part and parcel of football to be physical and I don’t really think we’re anywhere near as bad as some like to make out.”

Given that Hearts entered the split with less points than they did last season (fifty-five to fifty-seven), they’ve done well to pull themselves into a position where two more wins will beat 2003’s total of sixty-three and Kevin admitted this is where the focus now lay: “Of course you want to do better than the year before and that’s why I think it is a huge game for us. Aside from the Bordeaux matches it is definitely the biggest of the season.”

It’s been well-documented that Kevin has played nearly everywhere for the club, a trait which means he doesn’t know where he’ll be starting for any given game: “You never know, I might get a chance in goal!”

Some fans in recent weeks have suggested that once everything is finalised, the team should maybe experiment with two big strikers. Kevin said he’d enjoy the chance to play up front with Mark De Vries but it wasn’t up to him: “I’d give it a go and it could be interesting. It’s totally up to the boss though. I’ve said it before but I’m just happy to be playing. Hopefully I’ll get a chance tomorrow and do whatever the boss wants.”

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