First Team

Walker keen on winning

22nd September 2014

Winger delighted with three points in Cowdenbeath rout as rivals drop points.

Jamie Walker hailed his teammates as Hearts put a poor first half behind them to blow Cowdenbeath away with a four-goal second half blitz on Saturday.

Heading into the interval with the score at 1-1, the out-of-sorts Jambos re-emerged a different side and showed the gulf in quality between the two sides with a superb attacking display to extend their lead at the top of the Championship to three points.

After the match, the winger conceded that the entire team knew they weren't up to scratch, and that head coach Robbie Neilson had let them know as much.

"Our first half performance wasn't great", said Jamie. "The gaffer told us where we were going wrong at half-time, it wasn't a good enough performance for a Hearts side. Getting the early goal helped in that respect."

Walker has had to wait for his chance in the side this season, with the early form of Sam Nicholson and Billy King keeping him out of the side, aligned with the fact that Jamie had to serve two separate suspensions.

With Nicholson missing the game with a knock, the door was opened up for Walker who took his opportunity with a man-of-the-match performance that included a rare headed goal and winning the penalty for the crucial third strike that effectively won the game.

After last week's draw in Dumbarton, getting back on track with a win was crucial for Hearts, with the news emerging that pre-season promotion favourites Rangers and Hibs were both dropping points, the opportunity to improve the Gorgie side's goal difference suddenly came sharply into view.

"Sam and Billy have obviously been doing really well so I've had to wait for my chance, so it was great to be able to get 90 minutes and get a goal to help my confidence, as well as the three points. I think it's the first header I've ever scored in my life.

"The third goal kind of killed the game off, so we were able to play our own way after that. Obviously added to that, Rangers dropped points and Hibs got beat while we were winning so you can't ask for much more, these are the kind of days we're always happy with.

"The problem with Dumbarton last week was we didn't have anyone to put the chances away, but when we're playing at home we feel we should be scoring three or four goals against any team. When the game was won, we got a chance to try and see how many we could get."

With the Jambos sitting proudly atop the Scottish Championship table, a distraction in the form of a trip to Glasgow's East End has appeared, with Hearts keen to test themselves against the Scottish champions who have given the Jambos some horrible days over the past year or two.

"The Celtic game will be a good test of how far we've come from last season. There's obviously a lot of players to choose from, but obviously I'd love to play. We had a few hard games against them last season, but this time we're looking to win."