Gary Mackay: Sore one for Hearts after holding out

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We’ve all done things on the football pitch that we’ve known straight away were wrong – and you could see by Jordan McGhee’s expression that he knew he’d made a mistake in gifting Aberdeen a penalty.

I think many Hearts fans shared my view in feeling that he had been hard done by in not starting the previous two games, but then he goes and does something inexplicable like that. It’s not necessarily a pitfall of playing young players because some experienced players have done things on a football pitch that they instantly regret.

Hearts looked to be heading for a precious point at Pittodrie until Jordan McGhee's handball. Pic: SNS

Hearts looked to be heading for a precious point at Pittodrie until Jordan McGhee's handball. Pic: SNS

It will be a tricky one for the management to deal with though. Do they give him a rollicking or put an arm round his shoulder? Robbie Neilson will know the player’s personality and mentality better than any of us and will have decided how best to deal with it. If he’s a very quick learner, the manager will be fine keeping him in the team, but if he’s somebody who doesn’t take things on board as quickly as he should, then there’s a 
decision to be made.

Life is a learning curve, so it will just have to go down as a harsh lesson for Jordan. I’d be very surprised if he ever did anything like that again.

The fact it looked like we were going to hold on for a hard-earned point made it a sore one for everyone connected with Hearts to take, but, over the course of the game, Aberdeen probably deserved to win.

Round about the hour mark, we had two or three chances to sneak the lead, but that was our only real contribution in a threatening sense, which was disappointing. Up to that point, there was no doubt that Neil Alexander had been our best player.

It looked like we were set up to get a point and maybe try and nick something, which we almost did. If one of our chances had gone in, we wouldn’t have been talking about a mistake from young Jordan.

Aberdeen have opened up a wee gap on us but we can’t get too despondent about that. Keeping pace with them and Celtic for the whole season was always going to be a hard ask. Our main aim has to be to make sure we stay above this Saturday’s opponents St Johnstone.