Hearts head coach Frankie McAvoy believes the Europa Conference League Qualifier with Rosenborg is still all to play for following a 2-1 defeat in Trondheim on Thursday night.
The Jambos found themselves two goals down at the break, but Lawrence Shankland once again popped up with a big moment to ensure Hearts remained in the tie ahead of next Thursday’s second leg at Tynecastle.
Speaking to Hearts TV at full-time, McAvoy said:
“We’re disappointed to lose the game 2-1, but the tie is still alive.
“That was only our second competitive game. Rosenborg are well into their season and are undefeated in six, so they are on a good run. We made a few mistakes in the first half, but that comes from us encouraging players to be brave on the ball.
“We accept the responsibility for that as the coaching team. We had a lot of possession in the first half, but we were a bit too safe with it. In the second half, we changed a few things, and you can see we got more forward penetrating passes, and I thought the goal was the least we deserved.
"So overall, it’s all to play for heading back to a capacity crowd at Tynecastle.The fans deserve a special mention tonight. They were absolutely brilliant from start to finish. They willed us on and that was great."
Shankland's late goal changes the entire complexion of the tie and McAvoy was full of praise for the birthday boy.
“Shanks has been fantastic for us. I thought some of his hold-up play tonight was excellent in the second half. I’m delighted for him to get the goal on his birthday, and it means it’s all to play for next week.”