Alex Cochrane's attitude explained as Hearts predict he will get even better

Coaching staff at Hearts expect Alex Cochrane to become even better after watching him develop into a defensive mainstay this season.

The English full-back has played 23 of the Edinburgh club’s 24 competitive matches so far, missing only August’s Premiership win against St Johnstone because of suspension. He was a six-figure signing from Brighton and Hove Albion in the summer after impressing on loan at Tynecastle Park last term.

Manager Robbie Neilson explained 22-year-old Cochrane’s daily drive to improve at Riccarton and stated he will only enhance his game over the coming months. “Alex has had loads of good performances,” Neilson told the Evening News. “First and foremost, every day in training the boy wants to get better. I know it sounds daft but there are a lot of players who don't do that. They come in and just focus on the next game. He is in every day wanting to get better. He works on himself and looks after himself. The rewards he gets from it is his performance. It's what he does Monday to Friday that gets him there.

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“He has developed massively. We brought him here at the start of last season on loan from Brighton. He had hardly played any first-team football. His development from then until now is night-and-day. He is now a man, he's making good decisions, he's aggressive, he trusts himself in the air and he trusts himself physically. He is only going to get better.

“I think him and Craig Gordon have played the most minutes this season. For an outfield player to do that is outstanding. He is a guy who can just keep going and keep going. You can trust him 100 per cent and he will give you everything.”

Alex Cochrane has developed into a first-team regular at Hearts.