First Team

Kev back with a bang

19th March 2015

McHattie reveals delight at scoring on first team return

Kevin McHattie capped off his return to action with his third goal of the season in Tuesday’s vital victory over Raith Rovers at Starks Park. 

McHattie has missed the last four months of the season after suffering an injury in November’s victory over Rangers.

In a difficult season for the young full-back, Kevin made only his 10th appearance of this historic campaign, and he revealed his delight at putting his injury hell behind him.

"It's brilliant just to be back playing - and to cap my comeback with a goal and three points is absolutely massive,” said Kevin. “It's really tough when you have been out for all that time and you have to rely on the boys, friends, family and the girlfriend to pull you through it. 

"Everyone has been brilliant. The physio team have been vital as well. Rob Marshall has done a lot for me over the last couple of months and I can't thank him enough."

There was a hint of controversy over Kevin’s opening goal, with time appearing to stand still after he netted from close range following James Keatings’ deflected shot.

Like any top footballer should, however, McHattie played to the whistle and buried the chance, acting first and asking questions later.

"The referee took a while to give it - but I've done what any player should: put the ball in the back of the net and ask questions later! 

“I’ve been rewarded for that. I wasn't sure whether it was a goal, I just saw all the boys running towards me to celebrate."

And finally, with Hearts facing the possibility of winning the Scottish Championship this weekend - should results go their way - head coach Robbie Neilson has stated his preference would be to win the title in front of the Hearts fans at Tynecastle.

For Neilson to get his wish, Hearts will obviously need to beat Falkirk and then have neighbours Hibs defeat Rangers on Sunday. Kevin admitted that, while he would also like to win the trophy at home, he wouldn’t be going as far as to give the Easter Road outfit his backing.

"Cheering on Hibs? I'm not sure about that," said McHattie, amused. "I'm not sure whether I'll even watch it. I'll maybe have a wee look for it on the telly. Whatever happens, happens. 

“We just want to win against Falkirk on Saturday, that’s our priority. It has been a magnificent season but, on paper, it's not over yet. We have to win on Saturday and the gaffer has already highlighted what a huge game that it for us. 

“It's a hard place to go but hopefully we can get the three points. The game there last time was really tough, so we know what to expect.”