What a roller-coaster of emotions it has been for all Hearts supporters over the past few days.
On Thursday night we had one of the greatest nights in the club’s history down at Anfield as we drew against Liverpool, one of the biggest clubs in world football.
I spoke last week about how our best hope of a victory down there would probably be to score in the last minute and that’s almost how it turned out.
The only problem was that we left Liverpool enough time to conjure up a moment of quality to end our hopes of what would have been a quite incredible victory.
The fans who travelled to Merseyside deserve all the credit in the world. They were absolutely incredible and were a credit to the club with their backing of the team.
The players and management also deserved maximum praise for what was a truly heroic effort – and that includes David Templeton. He gave the fans a great moment to remember him by and I have no qualms with the fact he has joined Rangers.
It’s every player’s prerogative to decide what he does in his career – who are we to judge how a player decides to map out his career? He gave us good service in his time at Hearts and we got a good fee for him.
Stenhousemuir would have wished Templeton well when he left them to join us and we, as a club, should have done the same when he left us.
I was a bit disappointed with the tone of the statement they released. It wasn’t called for and did nobody any good. Footballers moving on is part of the game. It’s swings and roundabouts – no need for all the vilification of the boy.
Nonetheless, any disappointment over Templeton’s departure was offset by the return of Ryan Stevenson and the fact Ryan McGowan decided not to follow David to Rangers.
I’m sure McGowan’s hopes of establishing himself in the Australian national team were a big factor in his decision. Ryan has the athleticism to further his career down south when the opportunity arises, but I admire his loyalty in deciding to stay at Hearts for now.
I believe the team will be better off for the return of Stevenson. I admired his stance when he opted to leave the club as he felt he needed to do what he thought was right for his family.
I also admire him as a footballer and I believe he will add plenty to John McGlynn’s squad. I have absolutely no qualms about him coming back to the club and I hope he is welcomed back by the fans and allowed to do what he does best.
Unfortunately, it was a disappointing second debut for Ryan as we lost to Dundee yesterday when we could have gone top of the league.
There was always a likelihood we would fall a bit flat after the high of Thursday night, so we just have to put the European adventure behind us now and focus on trying to get back there next season.
The international break has probably come at a good time for us as it gives everyone a chance to recharge their batteries after a tough run of games.
Everyone can now go away, have a wee break and refocus the mind and then start afresh when we return away to St Mirren a week on Saturday.
We’ve had an amazing couple of games in Europe and are still well in the mix in the league despite yesterday’s setback. We have to come back after the break with the right attitude and set about trying to make the top six and possibly earn another foray into Europe next year.