RFS captain Tomas Simkovic believes the Tynecastle crowd will help bring out the best in his team when they face Hearts in Thursday’s Europa Conference League clash.
Both sides need a win to keep alive their slender hopes of qualifying for the knockout phase.
A crowd of more than 17,000 is expected in Edinburgh, with the vast majority supporting Hearts, but Simkovic expects his side – accustomed to playing in front of relatively small crowds in Latvia – to thrive on the occasion.
“For a lot of us it’s different to play in front of such a crowd,” he said. “We have seen in the last year this is no problem for us in front of a crowd.
“It’s more motivation for us and it’s something special. Not many people are watching football in Latvia and we want to change this.
“We are working to change this so I hope with reaching the Conference League we did something for Latvian football.”
RFS sit bottom of Group A with two points after drawing at home to Istanbul Basaksehir and away to Fiorentina.
They will have to win their last two games against Hearts and the Italians to have any chance of qualification, and their skipper admits it is unlikely they will make it to the next round.
“It is possible, of course, but it’s very hard for us to come through the group with two points,” said Simkovic.
“We showed we could have done it. We were lucky in some games and unlucky in others.
“We could have four points – then the situation is totally different, but it will be hard for us to go to the next round.”
Simkovic was frustrated after his side lost 2-0 at home to Hearts in what was a tight game in Riga last month.
He expects a similar encounter on Thursday.
“It will be like in Riga – an equal game with two good teams,” he said.
“We know what is waiting on us here in Edinburgh. The stadium is great and the atmosphere will be wonderful. We are all looking forward to the game.
“We always go for the win. We wanted to win in Riga as well and we will try to do the same here.
“I think we have quality to beat the teams in our group and we have shown that already. Sometimes we are lucky, sometimes not, but in every game we try to win.”
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