First Team

Craig: Worthy winners

10th February 2018

Craig Levein delighted with his side's showing as Hearts march into Scottish Cup quarter finals with 3-0 win over St Johnstone.

Craig Levein says his side were worthy winners after beating St Johnstone 3-0 to advance to the quarter finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

A Demetri Mitchell wonderstrike and a brace from Kyle Lafferty was enough to see off the Perth Saints, and Craig was delighted with the level of performance his team put into today’s victory at Tynecastle.

Speaking to HeartsTV after the game, he said: “I was pleased with today’s performance.

“I said after the game last Saturday when we didn’t play well and won that I felt I felt good about this week, because I knew we could play much better than we did last week.

“That proved to be the case today and I thought we ran out worthy winners in the end.

“I’m starting to feel good about the team. It’s a pleasing day for everyone associated with the club.”

Lafferty’s double took him to 14 for the season and the gaffer praised the Northern Ireland internationalist for his accuracy in front of goal.

“Kyle is accurate with his finishing,” he said. “We’ve seen that with the goals that he’s scored for us this season.

“The first one was really difficult. Arnaud, who I thought looked more like himself today and was excellent, managed to win the ball and play him through, and it was a really difficult angle but he controlled it perfectly and managed to sneak it inside the post on the far side.”

The biggest cheer of the day came when Mitchell struck his first goal for the club in magnificent fashion, placing the ball into the top corner from 20-yards out.

Craig had special words of praise for the on-loan Manchester United man and always felt that he would get on the scoresheet sooner rather than later.

“I really was pleased for him today,” he said. “You could see the delight on his face and I love to see that myself. I thought he had an excellent performance today and that goal just capped it off for him.

“In recent weeks he’s looked like scoring but hasn’t managed to do it through a combination of good goalkeeping, actually. I was thrilled to bits for him today.”