Juwon Oshaniwa praised the professionalism shown by his team-mates in Saturday’s impressive 3-0 victory over Partick Thistle at a sold-out Tynecastle on Saturday.
Goals from Osman Sow, Sam Nicholson and Juanma ensured the Jambos maintained their 100% start to the season, with Oshaniwa a particular stand-out in a comprehensive dismantling of the Glasgow outfit.
The Nigerian international put in another dazzling performance in defence as Hearts made it five wins from five in this season’s Ladbrokes Premiership campaign, regaining their place at the top of the table from Celtic, who played earlier in the day.
“This win keeps the fire burning and keeps us at the top of the league, so I am so happy,” said the 2014 World Cup star. “I thought we deserved the win, of course. We dominated from the first blast of the whistle, we created a lot of chances.
“And, even without the three goals and maximum three points, you saw everyone doing their job. For me, as a defender, keeping a clean sheet is very sound. Sometimes it is dangerous when you are only 1-0 up, because you cannot dominate for 90 minutes.
“But one good thing about the team, the collection of young and experienced players, is that we’re able to control the situation, to keep pressing and looking forward. When the chances come, we are able to convert them.”
Despite only having been at the club for a matter of weeks, the Super Eagle admitted he found himself blown away by the power of the backing delivered by the Gorgie faithful every Saturday.
“The fans we have here, they’re amazing, they always believe in us,” he enthused. “And you see the effect it has on us. When we hear them roaring, we keep pressing and pressing. You can see all of us affected by it.
“We hear the noise, it keeps us moving – we never want to disappoint them. My words to them are they should just keep supporting us, keep believing in us. Because, at the end of the season, we believe we are going to attain our goal and our target.”
Lastly, when asked of his thoughts on the young Scottish players at the club, the 2013 African Cup of Nations winner was assertive in his belief that the world lay at the feet of the shining lights of the Riccarton academy.
“Honestly speaking they had pass marks before me. You can talk about Sam Nicholson, talk about Jamie Walker, talk about Callum Paterson. All these young players aspire to greater heights.
“You can see they have the quality and condition. If they can keep it up and don’t lose their heads, honestly speaking, we have a well celebrated season ahead of us.