First Team

Craig praises effort and commitment

21st October 2019

Craig Levein praised the players' effort and commitment after the Jambos' 1-1 draw with Rangers at Tynecastle Park.

Ryotaro Meshino's early goal put Hearts ahead but Alfredo Morelos was able to equalise before half-time.

"I’m pleased... a little bit irritated about the way we lost the goal – at a set piece. But, the commitment, the effort, the competitive edge was there and it was very apparent, which we needed," Craig said after the game.

"The test for us now is to find that every single week. There’s no point in doing that today, then next week not doing ourselves justice."

Yet again, his side produced against strong opposition - Rangers led the league table going into the weekend.
"Sometimes when we’re favourites here and we have loads of the ball, we get a bit nervous. In these matches, in the game against Aberdeen, Hibs, Aberdeen at the start of the season, Celtic, [we] played well in those matches because it’s more of a level competition.

"I feel that it was important today that we showed our supporters that we’re fighting and desperate to do well just as they are."

He also heaped praise on goalscorer Meshino - who scored his second goal for the club with a deft chip from outside the box.

"All credit to the wee fella. We’ve got Glenn Whelan who was away with the Republic of Ireland playing two important matches. He’s so used to coming back from international duty and stepping into a big match.

:When you’re young like Ryo is, it’s hugely different. You go away and there’s the excitement, the travel, he’s playing against Brazil, and I felt he tired. But, he did enough in the time that he was on the field to contribute heavily – particularly with the goal. It wasn’t an easy finish."