JOHN SUTTON insisted today that Hearts must come back stronger next season after their defeat to St Mirren in the final of the Scottish Communities League Cup.
There was disappointment for The Jambos at Hampden as they went down 3-2 to Danny Lennon’s side, despite an impressive individual display from Ryan Stevenson which saw the winger bag himself a double.
The Tynecastle side created numerous opportunities over the course of the 90 minutes but paid the price for failing to convert enough of them.
Hearts were in the ascendancy for the opening half hour and could have added to their one-goal advantage several times before Esmael Goncalves scored the equaliser for Saints.
Sutton conceded that his side should have made their pressure count when they had the chance and said: “We really needed to get that second goal but it didn’t come for us.
“I felt that we played quite well. Obviously St Mirren are a good team and were very clinical with the chances that they had so we can’t complain too much.
“We just weren’t good enough on the day, so well done to them. It’s up to us to come back stronger next season.”
Things may have been different if Hearts had managed to stay level for longer but instead Steven Thompson’s goal just over a minute into the second half put them on the back foot almost immediately after the restart and Conor Newton sealed victory for The Buddies.
“I don’t think it was the best ball in for their second goal,” Sutton added, “but Steven Thompson is a great striker and a brilliant finisher and that goal really swung the momentum in their favour.
“But from our point of view, we had our chances and didn’t take them, whereas they probably had a few less and took them.
“The final ten minutes of the match were quite frantic but it wouldn’t quite break for us, we hit the post and the bar but it’s just one of those things. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t.
“You just have to do your best, try to get in the box and get a few shots in.”