First Team

Perry: Sign of a good team

29th August 2016

Perry Kitchen insists variety of wins shows the sign of a good team.

Admitting Hearts had made it ‘hard for themselves’, Perry Kitchen praised his teammates for delivering a vital three points as Tony Watt’s injury-time winner sealed success on Saturday in Glasgow.

Facing a determined Partick Thistle side, Watt’s winner earned the Jambos a 2-1 victory in Glasgow’s west end, and Kitchen played a role in the goal, blocking Abdul Osman’s clearance back into the path of the striker.

“I need someone to tell me if that counts as an assist! I was wondering if it did!”, said Perry. “We’re really happy with the three points. I thought we made it a little hard on ourselves, but showed great character to get the win.

“It’s the sign of a good team. 5-1 wins are great, but these are the important ones, the ones you look back on at the end of a season and say ‘this is when it counted’ so yeah, we’re pleased.

“The goal was coming for Tony. He hadn’t found the net yet, but we’re all delighted for him, and it’s a great way to score your first goal when you think about when he got it.”

With Celtic drawing Barcelona in this week’s Champions League draw, mention was inevitably brought up of the former Celtic star’s famous winning goal against the Catalan giants.

Revealing he’d ‘heard about it’ in training, to amused laughter, Perry stated he saw Watt and fellow Scottish starlet John Souttar making the step up to the full Scotland squad soon, joining Jack Hamilton and Callum Paterson.

“Yeah, Tony’s mentioned it to us in passing,” he deadpanned. “He definitely lets us hear about it often, but how many players can say that? It’s an important milestone for him and he should be proud of it.

“His talent is unquestionable, and his ability to take players on is really something. He’s vital to the away we play. John Souttar’s another great player who should be involved with Scotland soon.

“It’s ridiculous that he’s only 19. He has the size, strength and athleticism, and his passing ability is second to none. We have a lot of promising players, and he’ll definitely be making the step up soon.”

Lastly, when asked if the squad paid any attention to public predictions of who would be challenging for honours this season, the American international dismissed any notion that the team gave a second thought to how others think, instead preferring to focus on their own self-belief.

“We’re not interested in tabloid speculation about who’s challenging who, we’d rather be forgotten. We never start a season aiming for third place. If the people in the media like what we do, then great. If not, it won’t stop us.”