First Team

Speedy's salute to supporters

11th May 2014

Dale Carrick thanks Hearts fans for their backing as striker rounds off season with St Mirren strike.

Dale Carrick praised the Heart of Midlothian support for their defiance in the face of relegation, as Hearts rounded off their SPFL Premiership campaign with a 1-1 draw at St Mirren Park in front of 2400 travelling supporters.

Speedy netted his 6th goal of the campaign - all scored since the turn of the year - to earn the Jambos the point that would have seen them avoid automatic relegation had the club not been given a 15-point deduction last summer.

After the game, Dale explained what had motivated the players to throw their shirts into the grateful crowd after saluting the fans one last time this season.

"The fans have been great all season turning out in their thousands and it was amazing to see them do it one more time for us", he said. "Giving them our shirts was just our way of saying thanks for all their support."

The Riccarton graduate also revealed his appreciation for the work of manager Gary Locke, with the Hearts gaffer's hard work on the training field with the young stars starting to pay off with some fine performances on the field.

Speedy also told journalists - to almost no surprise - that his own personal high of the season came with his super strike in March's Edinburgh derby win over 11th place Hibs.

"We'd be really grateful if we could continue working with the manager. He's done great work with us, and we're starting to see the benefits of it all now."

"I've improved a lot, I'm starting to understand the game a lot more now. I can hold the ball up for longer, now that I know the game has that physicality to it. My own personal highlight was definitely scoring against Hibs. To make it 1-0, after seven minutes, to be precise."

"We've all grown as a team together. We've learned from our mistakes, and we're learning a lot quicker now. I think we'll do well in the Championship, if we can get a few extra players I think we can do really well."

Carrick admitted that, although times had been tough this season, he was looking forward to a new era in the Heart of Midlothian history book as the reign of Ann Budge begins. Despite relegation, the future of Hearts has never looked brighter in the eyes of the young striker.

"It's been a real learning curve for us. We've learned together, being chucked in at the deep end and we're making real progress. We're going the opposite way, the club is so positive right now, unlike at other clubs when teams struggle."

"It was brilliant to get the news that Mrs Budge is the new owner of our club. I can't wait for the next chapter."