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The Manager | Hearts Post Match

December 30, 2017 7:03 pm Author: AFC Media Team

“You can see why Hearts have only conceded two goals and kept lots of clean sheets recently.

“I think they defend with a real resilience and I think they came here to be a counter attacking team and frustrate with the shape they set up with.

“The counter attacks especially the one when Joe had to make the save in the first half was more us being guilty of playing in the right areas.

“We addressed that in the second half and played on the outside of them more, ganged up on them, our full backs overlapped, and I thought we controlled that.

“We were just guilty of not hitting the back of the net.

“McKenna’s had a chance and I thought there was a hand ball from Brandon which could have been a penalty kick for us. I thought Hearts came for their point and a mixture of them being resilient in their defending by getting blocks in and us not having that last pass or shot and being rushed in hitting the target more often has meant the game has been 0-0.

“Sometimes you get frustrated with a 0-0 because you’re kicking yourself that maybe the players haven’t tried to right thing, but I thought the players did everything we asked of them in the second half other than score a goal.

“I thought it was a competitive game and we’re here to get points. There were tackles to be made, challenges to be won and I don’t mind that, but the red card was from behind, reckless and that’s the one you would question, but everything else was fine. Both teams are here to get the result and do the best for their club.

“I’m not too down. I’m disappointed we haven’t won the game and disappointed for the crowd. I thought we had a brilliant support there and the roof would have come off if we’d got that winning goal.

“They recognised the effort of the players, but also the quality of some of our play especially in the second half. I think they recognised we did everything but win the game so I’m confident the second half of the campaign we’re set up well for it. I think it’s the type of game that McGinn would have been important to us by unlocking a tight defence and bringing that bit of quality.

“We’ve got that to look forward to in the second part, but we’ve got the new lads we signed in the summer up to speed with the demands from this club, they understand more of what’s expected, and I think they’ll be better for it.

“We’re all looking forward to the break and the players have a chance to switch off mentally and physically. Hopefully we have something like last year where we hit the second part of the campaign like a train and we were really pleased with our work and looked energised and refocussed. The break can give you that opportunity to be that team and hopefully that’s the team we’ll be when we come back.

“In terms of numbers I’m happy with the squad.

“There may be some flexibility with one or two from the squad with loans and these will be discussions we’ll be having over the course of the next few weeks. If the window was to close with the squad we’ve got then I’d be more than happy. When you’ve got a player that becomes available with the quality of McGinn you’ve got to make things like that happen. If something similar came up in another position then we might try something. I’m happy with what the players are giving us and I’m confident and encouraged there’s more to come.”

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