Any Hearts player would be pleased with a goal and an assist as their contribution to a victory for their team. Not many, however, get to nab a goal and an assist in the same breath.
Callum Paterson achieved that rare feat this evening against Cowdenbeath, as his knock-down found himself and the makeshift striker rewarded his fine set-up play by chesting the ball down and volleying an unstoppable shot into the top corner to seal a fine win for the Jambos at Central Park.
“Yeah, we’ve been working on it in training this week”, explained the Scotland U21 star, tongue firmly in cheek. “The plan is to play it up to me, I’ll win it and knock it down to myself and score, so obviously it worked really well.
“I actually tried to knock it down and I got it all wrong, so I was angry at myself and just took a swing at it. I was pleased with the finish though. It was my swinging leg, It hit my shin, it was just under my shinpad, that totally counts”, he said, with conviction.
Even with his prowess in front of goal - tonight’s strike was his 19th for the first team - Paterson has always preferred playing in defence, despite being utilised as a centre-forward for much of his Hearts career prior to this season’s campaign, and admitted he would be keen to return to his familiar berth when the opportunity arrives.
“I’m a full back, I’ve always been a full back, even when I was a striker, I was a full back. I’ve been used as a utility player in the past too, but I’m a full back”, he confirmed.
“Tonight was something of an experiment”, Callum continued. “The gaffer wanted us to go long, and you can’t do that with a smaller player so I went up there and just sort of ran around. However, that’s two goals in two games for me now, so I’m happy with that.”
Additionally, Callum praised the 3000 Hearts supporters who were back, and in greater numbers, to give the team their backing in the face of a miserable evening in Fife, and who were rewarded with two fine strikes - the other from James Keatings - to give them something to cheer as they attempted to keep warm.
“This was a tough game for us. It’s just a few days before Christmas, the conditions were freezing but it’s just great to come to different grounds all over the country and get results all season.
“An unbeaten run always has to come to an end but who says it has to come to an end this season, and not next season instead? With the amount of supporters we have at every game we believe we can win every time.”