First Team

Locke: We won't go quietly

2nd April 2014

Manager thrilled with defiance shown by his Jambos as relegation avoided again with superb comeback.

Gary Locke hailed his Hearts side as the Jambos defied all odds by somehow heroically clinging onto their SPFL Premiership status following a dramatic 1-1 draw with Aberdeen at Tynecastle.

With the Jambos down to 10 men after Danny Wilson's red card, Willo Flood drove in a long-range free kick with 15 minutes to go. Though it seemed an uphill task to salvage the match, with three minutes remaining Callum Paterson was floored in the penalty area and earned a spot-kick.

Despite the pressure, Jamie Hamill was the coolest man in the stadium as he stepped up and sent Jamie Langfield the wrong way to send Tynecastle into raptures. As full time came, the Gorgie hordes sang 'We'll Support You Ever More' to salute their heroes' defiance in the face of defeat.

After the match, the gaffer reaffirmed his belief that his side wouldn't give up until the very end, choosing to highlight the massively noticeable improvement in the confidence and ability of the young Hearts stars.

"The boys aren't going quietly, that's for sure", he said. "I said after the game on Sunday that they're improving, and I felt they applied themselves brilliantly in the second half.

"We always try to win our matches, especially here. We were up against a top team tonight and we more than matched them. I was a bit concerned because of the effort they'd put into the Hibs game, but they were superb again.

"The demands of first team football are very different, but in the second half of this season the boys have really grown into their roles in the team."

Hearts head to Firhill on Saturday to face Partick Thistle knowing that even victory may not keep the club in the league, but insisted the Jambos would go to Glasgow aiming for the victory regardless of results elsewhere.

"We know Partick will be up for the game on Saturday, we haven't beaten them this season but it's a game we're looking forward to, and although the boys are toiling a bit, we'll be looking for another win to stay up on Saturday."