First Team

So close to zero

30th December 2013

Callum Paterson feels positive points tally is 'just around the corner' and reveals his disbelief that he never won Sunday's game against St Mirren.

Callum Paterson expressed his optimism that a return to a positive points tally was 'just around the corner' for Hearts in the wake of Sunday's dramatic draw in Paisley.

Despite falling behind to an early Steven Thompson goal, the Jambos came flying back in the second half, equalising through a Jamie Hamill thunderbolt and almost snatching the victory in stoppage time, with Callum's volley somehow being kept out by an incredible save by ex-Jambo Marian Kello in the Buddies' goal.

Doing his post-match press duties, the Jambos' top scorer admitted he couldn't believe he hadn't scored and praised the Slovakian keeper for saving his side, and bemoaned the 'silly mistakes' that were ultimately giving Hearts a harder task in trying to claw their way off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership table.

"I thought I'd scored", said the Scotland U21 striker. "I couldn't have caught it any better, it was just a brilliant save from Kello really. I thought we were going to win it there".

"If we hadn't lost a cheap goal in the first few minutes we'd have won the game. It's mistakes like those that we need to try and eradicate from our game. Silly mistakes are costing us points".

One moment that will be on rewind for a long time to come was Jamie Hamill's equaliser today. After a cross from Jamie Walker wasn't dealt with, the loose ball reached Hamill and his crisp half-volley exploded past Kello into the top corner.

"Jamie doesn't score many goals, but they're usually good!" laughed Callum. "That wasn't a bad one to get today, the whole team certainly appreciated it. We know he can strike a good ball, that's why he's on the penalties and free kicks. Better him to hit it than Dylan McGowan who was racing in with his left foot! We could have lost another match ball!"

Finally, the 19-year-old reiterated his desire that Hearts could get out of trouble, and up the table. With other teams dropping points, the striker knows Hearts need to make the most of these opportunities to pull back the deficit, and finally get into positive points for the season, which was manager Gary Locke's initial pre-season target.

With Hearts putting a wretched 2013 behind them, the winning goalscorer from the first Edinburgh derby of the season revealed he could think of no better place for Hearts to get their season back on track.

"Three points today would have put us to zero, and it's only upwards that we can go from there. With Ross County and Partick losing today, it would have been a good opportunity to close the gap so obviously that's frustrating. We're off the losing streak now so we need to start closing the gap."

"Zero is just around the corner, it's so close. It's only one win. We need to try and see what we can do. We've already beaten Hibs twice this season, including a game there and that would be the perfect place for us to get above zero".