DAVID TEMPLETON today acclaimed his finest performance of the season and pledged to keep his place in the Hearts team after inspiring the Edinburgh club to a 2-0 defeat of Celtic.
The winger created both goals as Rudi Skacel and Ryan Stevenson scored in a memorable victory. It was Templeton’s first league start since August 13 and he is now eager to maintain consistency.
“It was very pleasing, especially after last week’s result at St Johnstone,” he said. “We had to bounce back with a good result for the fans and we managed to do that.
“I thought I played well in the first half of the first game this season [against Rangers], then I got injured. I’d say yesterday’s performance is up there with my best. In the other games I’ve played I haven’t done too well and I fell out of the team, deservedly so.
“I just had to wait to get back in and thankfully I’ve done well. I do always feel I’ll get chances. We’ve got the attacking players to do that so I feel that way against any team.
“If I get the ball, I’ll always be able to get a chance or create a chance. I managed to do that yesterday for both goals but we need that in every game. Hopefully everyone can take the chances when they come.”
Describing the build-up to his impromptu backheel for the second goal, Templeton joked: “I just saw the ball come over the top and I knew Stevo didn’t have the pace. I thought I’d get there first and I heard him shout ‘behind you’.
“I knew Mark Wilson was quite tight to me but I managed to flick it back and we got the goal. I think he (Wilson) was watching Ryan and didn’t see me come in behind him. I managed to sneak in and get it back to Ryan.
“For the first goal, I tried to bring the ball down and turn myself, but Rudi came in and it was a great strike from him.
“We have to do this against teams round about us in the league. We haven’t done so well in the other games so far this season. It’s very encouraging to get this result and we need to take it into the next game.”
A pre-match address from Vladimir Romanov, Hearts’ majority shareholder, helped set the tone for the afternoon. The Russian businessman was on a rare visit to Edinburgh but again witnessed a resounding success for his team.
“He told us to go out and have a good performance and to be on our toes,” said Templeton. “Last time Celtic played really well against us at Tynecastle so we had to try and put on a better performance. I think that showed.
“The owner came into the meeting room before kick-off and had a few words to encourage us. I think it worked.”