First Team

Craig happy with Saints win

21st October 2017

Manager delighted as Jambos edge "war of attrition" at BT Murrayfield.

Craig Levein was delighted to see Hearts win a ‘war of attrition’ in today’s encounter with St Johnstone at BT Murrayfield.

A late Kyle Lafferty goal was all that separated the sides in a match of few chances and not much quality from either team, but that mattered little to the manager.

“It wasn’t a great match, was it?”, he laughed. “It was a war of attrition. Previous seasons would have seen us lose similar matches, but today we dug out the win.

“I thought our forward play wasn’t great, we got confused at times about whether to go long or come short, and chose the wrong option, but we need to continue to be dogged.

“If you’re difficult to beat in matches, sometimes you get that bit of luck that wins you the game, like it did today.”

Once more, Craig kept faith in the youth system at the club with Jamie Brandon starting the match, followed by sub appearances from Harry Cochrane and Euan Henderson, and he was thrilled with the starlets’ contributions to the match.

“I was really chuffed with the kids,” he admitted. “Jamie Brandon had a slow start, but after 15 minutes he started getting really tight to Scougall and he caused no problems after that.

“Henderson did a good job too, he chased things into corners, pressured them into mistakes and kept the ball to bring others into the game, while Harry was just really good.”

Speaking about the sponsors’ man of the match, Craig stated that he had no fears about continuing to blood 16-year-old Cochrane in the weeks and months to follow.

“I honestly wouldn’t play Harry if I thought he was scared of the challenge,” he continued. “He’s really young, and weak, and inexperienced and he probably wouldn’t be playing if Arnaud Djoum and Don Cowie were fit, but maybe he would.

“The thing is, although he’s young, he’s still the next best player we’ve got in the side, so that’s why he plays.”