First Team

Let's build on this

17th March 2018

Craig Levein targets strong finish to the season after Hearts put Partick Thistle to the sword at Tynecastle.

Craig Levein hopes today’s win over Partick Thistle will kick-start a strong finish to the Jambos’ league campaign.

The boys in maroon effectively put the tie to bed with an impressive first-half performance. Kyle Lafferty opened the scoring with his 17th strike of the season before Steven Naismith doubled Hearts’ advantage.

The third came just before half-time as John Souttar fired home his first ever goal for the club.

Speaking to the press post-match, Craig was keen to stress the importance of building on this performance over the coming weeks.

“I don’t want to start looking towards next season yet, it’s important for our fans that we finish strongly,” he said.

“Today was the first step towards that and hopefully we can pick up another three points next week.

“The tempo of the match came down in the second half and that was the reason why we didn’t add more goals. But overall I can’t complain.”

The victory moved the Jambos a step closer to securing a top six spot, however, Craig admits it’s not a situation he enjoys being in.  

“I don’t want to be sitting here talking about finishing in the top six. Our ambitions are to finish higher than that and try to become a regular competitor in the Europa League.

“I said before the game that it’s been a tumultuous season with a lot of ups and downs and ins and outs.

“It’s been a lot of changes for the players to deal with. It’s been tough, what with playing away from home so much at the start and of having home games at Murrayfield.

“There’s been so many things this season that have sort of been a bit of a distraction.”

Finally, the gaffer took time to praise midfielders Joaquim Adao and Danny Amankwaa for their contribution in today’s match.

“Joaquim was really good. He’s still not up to 100% yet and he also got a couple of hefty challenges today and that was one of the reasons why he came off.

“I also thought Danny was good. He showed some good stuff today and that made me feel good about starting him.”