Kilmarnock boss Mixu big fan of improving Hearts

Kilmarnock boss Mixu Paatelainen isn't surprised to see Hearts doing so well.

The big Finn will welcome the Gorgie side to Rugby Park today.

Paatelainen said: "I have been very impressed by Hearts this season but I'm not surprised. They have quality players and an experienced management team.

"It's a big club and everything is there. They have a good balance between defending and attacking and in Kevin Kyle they have the best target man in the country.

"Now they have Stephen Elliott and David Templeton working off him - and Rudi Skacel is also a tremendous footballer.

"And they have a really good balance in the middle of the park so what more can you ask for?

"Can Hearts sustain a challenge to the Old Firm? I can't see why not. With the player budgets they have, what they can attract players with and offer them, I think they can.

"That's allied to the players they already have. It's going to be very difficult because the Old Firm have quality squads and are there every year. They have that mentality.

"For a team to break that, they too must have a special mentality. But if anyone can do it, Hearts can."

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