First Team

Craig: Extremely proud of players

25th May 2019

Craig Levein was left proud of his players after their valiant effort in the Scottish Cup Final, which finished 2-1 to Celtic.

Hearts took the lead through Ryan Edwards in the second-half but a double from Odsonne Edouard – including one from the penalty spot – won it for Celtic.
 
“I’m terribly disappointed to end up on the losing side," Craig said. "I’m very proud of the way the players performed today. I feel the pain that they feel, and the supporters feel as well."
 
“It’s very difficult for me to be critical of anybody. I thought they all tried ever so hard to implement the game plan.
 
“I said to them before the game, ‘don’t have any regrets, don’t wake up tomorrow morning and think and I wish there’s something I could have done better in the game, and I want it to be replayed so I can change that’.
 
“I can honestly say I don’t think any of them can go to bed and feel they let Hearts down.”
 
16-year-old Aaron Hickey was handed only his second start for the first team and the full-back impressed, keeping James Forrest quiet for the entire 90 minutes.
 
“What encourages me more than anything else at the football club is the quality of young players we’ve got. Aaron is just another one. Harry [Cochrane] didn’t start today. Connor Smith has been excellent recently.
 
“I’m privileged to be behind the scenes and know what’s going on, and I know the quality that we’ve got. That keeps me going and makes me think we can improve and I’m absolutely certain we can.”