Hearts made it nine wins out of nine in this season’s Scottish Championship as Alloa Athletic were the latest team to be beaten by the league leaders in Saturday’s clash at Tynecastle.
And despite that fine opening to the season, recent Scotland call-up Callum Paterson claimed that the team were going to be even stronger as the season progressed, as he reflected on an impressive performance which saw him net his third goal of the campaign.
“In the past, we have had the defence of being young and we were expected to grow into the game,” said Callum. “But we are all experienced professionals now and we are going to constantly improve by winning games. There will always be a wee bit of pressure, but nothing massive. We go out there and focus on our own game, and that has worked pretty well so far. There’s no point worrying about other teams now.”
“To have a 100 per cent home record in the league at the turn of the year is a wonderful achievement, although the stats aren’t something we pay too much attention to. This is proving to be a really hard place for teams to come and we love playing here, because the fans make it horrible for other teams to play in front of them.
The Jambos have the chance to extend their lead at the top of the table to twelve points on Tuesday, as the rearranged fixture with Cowdenbeath from last weekend pops up on the calendar just two days before Christmas. In spite of this, however, the Jambos have sold out their allocation of around 3000 tickets and Callum is looking forward to a warm reception on a chilly winter evening.
“Cowdenbeath got a great result away from home on Saturday, so they will be high on confidence but hopefully we can take three points and keep the momentum going,” he continued. “It’s not that difficult because we take a huge amount of fans wherever we go. From a player’s point of view, that constant chanting and support helps keep you motivated, regardless of the surroundings.
“It will, of course, be a wee bit different on a Tuesday night in Cowdenbeath, with the wind blowing and freezing conditions, but we are prepared for that and we have proved this season that we have the class to perform in any conditions.”
Lastly, the marauding full-back revealed his delight at adding another goal to his tally for the season, after an initial half-hour of doing some donkey work for Jamie Walker, the winger eventually turning provider for Paterson to volley home at the front post on the half-hour mark.
“I had been running up and down that wing for the first half-hour like a headless chicken,” he laughed. “But I eventually got the ball to my feet and managed to put it away. Hopefully there will be a few more to come like that.
“I’m usually just a decoy for Jamie but there are good connections there, whether it’s with Jamie, Sam [Nicholson] or Billy [King], with us having come through the youth ranks together. We can build on that and take it to a bigger stage.
“With different players scoring good team goals and constantly picking up wins, it really builds confidence.”