HEARTS manager Gary Locke expressed his relief at seeing his team reach the quarter-finals of the Scottish League Cup by beating Queen of the South on penalties last night.
Dale Carrick was the hero with the winning penalty as Hearts won the shoot-out 4-2 following an entertaining 3-3 draw.
Three times the hosts’ single-goal advantage was cancelled out by the spirited Dumfries side, who controlled large spells of the game.
Hearts entered the contest on the back of three successive defeats and Locke was happy to win, lift morale and secure a place in this afternoon’s quarter-final draw at Hampden Park.
“It’s great for the confidence,” he said. “Whether you get through in 90 minutes, extra-time or penalties, we’re through and that’s the most important thing. It will give everyone a boost and the players are certainly a lot happier than they were after the Ross County match on Saturday.
“I thought we played some good stuff in the game. Going forward we looked good and I’m delighted to see something we worked at on the training ground coming off for the third goal (scored by Danny Wilson). There are a lot of positives to take.
“Ideally we didn’t want to go to extra-time and penalties but we had to and we’re glad to be through.”