Zaliukas Wants To Taste Victory
Updated Friday, 3rd September 2010
Playing for Hearts for the last three years has not dimmed Marius Zaliukas determination to beat Scotland tonight
Lithuania defender Marius Zaliukas is counting down the hours to the biggest game of his life when he faces Scotland tonight. Hearts captain Zaliukas is looking to put uncertainty over his club future behind him by getting his country's EURO2012 qualifying campaign off to a flying start in Kaunas. The centre-back was not involved when Scotland beat Lithuania in Kaunas four years ago and he is looking to taste success against the country he has made his home for the past three years.
Zaliukas said: "It's going to be probably the most important game of my career and I hope for a sweet victory. They will be looking to win and will go forward all the time but we are prepared for that. All their players are a threat but we are not a bad team and we're looking forward to winning this game. It's not going to be easy but we're looking forward to fighting with Czech Republic for second place. I don't think anyone can compare with Spain but we will see."
Zaliukas has been unable to reach agreement with Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov over a new contract, with his ties to the club due to end in December. But the 26-year-old has denied claims he asked for £20,000 a week and insists he hopes to resolve the situation. Zaliukas said: "I would like to stay but we have some issues and we are working on it".
Another Lithuania player, Zaliukas' former Hearts team-mate Andrius Velicka, is more assured about his future after agreeing a loan move to Aberdeen this week. He has not played for Rangers since rupturing a cruciate ligament more than a year ago and is positive about his season swap deal with Richard Foster after speaking to Dons boss Mark McGhee. Velicka said: "It's good for me because I can get an opportunity to play. That's the main thing for me now after my injury, just to get on the pitch so I'm looking forward to that. It was a tough time for me so hopefully everything will go okay. I spoke to Mark McGhee earlier this week and I loved what I heard from him so I'm happy to go there."
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