Perry Kitchen believes Hearts took their eye off the ball in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Ross County at Tynecastle.
Hearts looked to have sealed the win when Juanma netted with just six minutes remaining, however, The Staggies hit a dramatic late equaliser through David Goodwillie to secure a point.
“I thought we had the win,” admitted Kitchen. “We need to show better character than that, learn from our mistakes and pinpoint why we didn’t close the game out.
“We knew what Ross County would do coming into the match. We knew they’d make it tough for us, but I still thought we’d done enough to win it, although we couldn’t see it out.”
Already a firm favourite with supporters, Kitchen discussed his disappointment that the season was ending already, given the fact he only made his debut in March of this year.
The tough tackling midfielder has been named in the provisional USA squad for this summer’s Copa America, and disclosed Head Coach Robbie Neilson’s eagerness for the player to experience the event first-hand.
“It’s a tricky situation for me,” he continued. “I came in mid-season and then suddenly the season’s ended, but it is what it is. It’s a quick turn-around, at least.
“The boys will be back in June, and hopefully I’ll be involved in the Copa America squad so I’ll be getting some game time. Robbie’s happy for me to go, and it’s great to have his support.
“It could be difficult with me not getting a break, but then I had a few months off before I joined Hearts, so my fitness levels should be absolutely fine when it comes to the Europa League games.
“It’s an honour to be in the provisional squad and it would be great to be included, but that’s up to Jurgen and his staff. The tournament starts early in June so the squad will meet up early and prepare.
The country’s really excited about hosting such a prestigious tournament. If I get an email saying I’ve made it then that would be awesome.”