Hearts answered the questions asked of them in convincing fashion, according to Saturday’s goalscorer Callum Paterson.
After losing a first league game of the season to Falkirk last weekend, the Jambos responded in the best possible manner with a comfortable 4-1 victory at Alloa Athletic, with Paterson netting the final goal.
Post-match, the full back explained that the team were aware questions would be posed in the wake of last weekend’s surprise defeat, and revealed that the team had made sure not to make the same mistakes again after failing to capitalise on a bright start.
“There were always going to be questions asked of us,” said Callum. “Losing a game after such a long run invites pressure, but we put it behind us and got the job done on a difficult pitch.
“Early goals help, but you have to keep your foot on the gas. We didn’t last week and it cost us. This week, we learned from our mistakes and kept pressing, and it paid dividends.”
Much has been made this season of the artificial surfaces in the league, and indeed Hearts made headlines back in October when they rented the use of the surface at the Indodrill Arena back in October.
The Wasps have taken some mighty scalps at the former Recreation Park this season, with Rangers and Hibs both falling victim to the Clackmannanshire side. The Scotland U21 star insisted, however, that teams could have no excuse when it came to the astroturf.
“We played on surfaces like this growing up, so there’s no excuse if you can’t play well on it,” explained Paterson. “I know other teams have struggled here, and Alloa aren’t an easy team to play against.
“They’ve had some great results at home this season, so it was great for us to get the win in such a convincing manner.”
Lastly, Callum conceded that it was a positive sign to see Hearts back to playing a more fluid passing game, as the pressure of defending an unbeaten run appeared to have lifted.
Robbie Neilson has always stated the result is the main thing; nevertheless, last season’s top scorer did acknowledge that the team wanted to return to their swashbuckling displays that lit up the early stages of the season.
“We’ve wanted to get back to playing our normal style, so it was pleasing to do so tonight. People might want the league to be exciting for neutrals.
“Our aim is to stretch the gap as far as it can go. We’re here to win the league, do our jobs professionally, and if we can, we want to win it in style.”