Austin MacPhee has praised the impact of Hearts’ new signings and believes match-winner Sean Clare will only get better after the Jambos’ Scottish Cup win over Livingston today.
Clare’s second-half pinpoint strike was enough to send Livi out of the cup and set up a 5th Round tie with Junior side Auchlineck Talbot.
The assistant manager was pleased with how new arrivals Conor Shaughnessy and David Venecek performed in a tricky game, and insists Clare stepped up to the plate when called upon.
Speaking to HeartsTV after the game, Austin said: “We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game.
“The last two games against them, we obviously not scored against them for a start, and we know what happened down there when we lost badly, but that’s three wins in a row now and we’re in the next round of the cup.
“It was a really positive performance from our new players. I thought in the first half, David took a bit of time to get going but he got better as the game went on and he’s still struggling for match fitness, which is something that we’ll be working on.
“Conor was excellent. He looks like another John Souttar in the way which he uses the ball, and he was also very commanding in the air against a team that asks you a lot of questions on how to defend. So we’re delighted to get them through the game.
“Liam Fox said to Sean at half time ‘Sean, when are you going to arrive?’ and he actually did it within two minutes.
“We were really excited when we signed Sean and we still are. He’s got huge potential and is very young so we’re delighted that we’ve got him on a three-year contract.
“We believe he’s going to get better all the time and he’s already showing that. I’m delighted for him today that he was ultimately the difference in the tie.
“It’s a big week for us with three home games. We’ll look to try and win our fourth game in a row on Wednesday night. We’ve then got the cup to look forward to next month.”
Austin’s post-match interview is available to watch in full now on HeartsTV by clicking here.