First Team

Daly: Great character

3rd December 2016

U20s coach pleased with side's spirit despite late penalty miss in Ross County draw.

Jon Daly hailed his side’s character as they fought back from a goal down to earn a 2-2 draw at Ross County.

Going behind to a Jay McEveley goal, the Jambos bounced back in the second half with goals from Arnaud Djoum and Callum Paterson, before Liam Boyce equalised from the spot.

Deep into stoppage time, Jamie Walker was brought down in the box but his penalty kick was saved by Scott Fox, and the game ended in a tie. Despite the late blow, Daly admitted he couldn’t have asked for more.

“I thought we looked a bit lethargic in the first half,” said Daly. “But that’s to be expected. We’ve put everything into the past two games, and there wasn’t much in this one so we were a bit unfortunate to be a goal down.

“We knew how County would play, and we didn’t deal with balls into the box, then showed great character but we struggled with another ball into the box with the penalty. Then we showed more character to go back up the park, but it was a great save from the keeper, and that happens sometimes.

“The boys are running on empty now after the last seven days, but they’ve been superb all week and we couldn’t ask for more. A penalty miss can happen.”

The U20s coach lastly took time to hail the work done by departing duo Robbie Neilson and Stevie Crawford, with the head coach and his assistant heading to pastures new in England.

Praising the work they’d done over the last two years, Jon felt that the next head coach of Heart of Midlothian would find himself with a terrific group of players to call upon in future.

“You have to credit Robbie and Stevie,” he said. “They’ve left a great squad with strength in depth, and the new head coach can call in top class players on the bench. The new head coach will be pleasantly surprised with just how good this squad is.”