First Team

Craig: Moments of quality won us the game

2nd February 2019

Craig Levein believes Hearts showed their quality to defeat Kilmarnock at Rugby Park last night.

Impressive goals from Sean Clare and Steven Naismith had the Jambos two up, though the hosts pulled one back from the penalty spot through Jordan Jones on the stroke of half time.

The win means Hearts are only the second club to win two league games in a season at Rugby park since Steve Clarke took over high-flying Killie, and the manager was thrilled with his side’s performance as the gap between the Jam Tarts and second place now stands at only three points.

“Winning pleased me most,” he said. “It’s hard to get points here and to beat Kilmarnock, so it was a hard fought and competitive game of cat and mouse for most of it.

“We had a couple of moments of real quality that won us the game. Arnaud Djoum’s play to pass to Sean Clare, and the set play.”

“Killie had a lot of play but nothing that caused us great problems which was pleasing for me.

“Kilmarnock have been on a great run of form, so to get three points is excellent.

“It’s probably the most keenly contested top league in a long time, there’s a number of teams bunched together and it definitely makes it better to see all those clubs with a chance of finishing high up.

“We have a lot of work to do to get into real contention, but when we get Uche back - which could be Wednesday, but if not, Auchinleck - and Peter, which should be that game or the week after, as well, I’ll be really happy as we’ll be at full strength.”