First Team

Hard work pays off

24th July 2017

John Souttar always believed he'd be back ahead of schedule after starting weekend win over East Fife.

John Souttar insists he always knew he’d be back ahead of schedule after starting Saturday’s Betfred Cup victory over East Fife, five-and-a-half months on from his last first-team outing.

The defender ruptured his Achilles during a league match at Celtic Park in January and has spent the time since nursing himself back to full fitness.

His name was a surprise inclusion in Ian Cathro’s starting line-up at the weekend as the Jambos strolled to a 3-0 win, and the 20-year-old believes his hard work, and that of the people around him at the club, has paid off.

“I always thought I’d be back quicker,” said John. “We’ve got a great medical staff here and a lot of people behind the scenes, my Thai therapist, my family, just everyone helping out.

“I knew I would be back soon but I didn’t think I would be back five-and-a-half months after the op because it’s a massive operation. To come back and feel as good as I did was brilliant.

“I was in the gym every day for five months. I’ve worked as hard as I possibly can every day. I just looked on the injury as a positive to get stronger and more powerful.

“I’ve worked as hard as I possibly can both medically and physically to get back. It helps on the pitch. That was one of the positives when I was injured.

“If you feel sorry for yourself, it is going to affect everything. You need to be mentally strong.

“I’ve gone through a lot of stuff in my career. I’m only 20 and I’ve been through quite a lot that’s going to make me mentally strong. That was another test and I’m back five-and-a-half months after an Achilles rupture.

“What helped me when I was injured was the fact that Hearts believed in me coming back. They paid money for me when not many teams were going to so I’ve got a lot to pay back. Hopefully I paid it back last season and can keep doing the same.”