First Team

That was for the fans

9th May 2018

Craig Levein thrilled with Derby victory in the final home game of the season.

Craig Levein was delighted to send the Hearts faithful home happy with an Edinburgh Derby win in the final home match of the season.

Goals from Kyle Lafferty and Steven Naismith helped Hearts to a deserved victory over their city rivals in the penultimate fixture of the 2017/18 campaign.

Speaking to the media after the match, the Hearts manager praised his players for going all out to win the game. 

“I’ve expressed my frustration on numerous occasions this season with the way things have gone. This was our last game at home and sending our fans home was really important and I’m glad we did that tonight,” said Craig.

“I think you see tonight that there’s not an awful lot between the teams at all.

“Our players did everything they could to try and win the game. To be pegged back so soon into the second half was a real body blow and to then go and win the match after was really pleasing.”

The Jambos’ win was in no small part down to a terrific midfield performance by 17-year-old Harry Cochrane and Craig was quick to heap praise on the talented youngster.  

“He was unbelievable, honestly. I don’t think he gave the ball away all evening. His touch on a slick pitch was sublime. It’s only really good players who can perform like that on a pitch like that.

“I thought he was the best player in midfield. John McGinn is a fantastic player and rightly gets loads of plaudits but I thought Harry was better than him tonight.

“I’m really excited about seeing how he develops because I’m sure he’ll be an international in the future.

“He doesn’t shirk any tackles. The best players have got that in them. It was a hot and intimidating atmosphere tonight and he was the coolest head on the pitch.”

Finally, Craig was asked about comments made by Neil Lennon after the previous derby in which the Hibs manager claimed Hearts were of no relevance to Hibs.

“Relevant? We put them out the Scottish Cup and stopped them from finishing second in the league. That’s pretty relevant to me,” said Craig.