Ayr boss David Hopkin rues free-kick with hope of taking Hearts point
Ayr United boss David Hopkin thought his side could have earned a point against Hearts if they had managed to defend Armand Gnanduillet’s goal.
The Ayrshire side made it difficult for the league leaders at Tynecastle Park but Robbie Neilson’s team showed their quality to win 2-0, the second coming from Jamie Walker.
It was Hopkin’s first match in charge after replacing Mark Kerr and liked what he saw from his team as they worked hard out of possession.
“We knew coming here today it would be a tough game,” he said. “We tried to be difficult to play against and I thought with the players we do have we can hurt teams.
"For 75 minutes I thought we were doing fine and then one bit of quality from a free kick into the box, we're 1-0 down. Tried to change the shape to get back into it and obviously we should deal with the header [for the second goal] when it comes in the box and the longer the game is 1-0 we’ve got a chance.
“I just thought if we had seen that free-kick out I think we would have left here with a point because I thought we were excellent, even the flair players we do have were prepared to run and work hard but it doesn’t matter what team you play we have to try and pick up points and if I see that commitment, that enthusiasm, that desire we won’t be far away.”
He added: “I thought we were excellent in our shape, we were stealing balls.”
While Hearts weren’t at their vibrant best, they still created chances to go into the lead earlier and add to the scoreline when 2-0 up.
Ayr goalkeeper Viljami Sinisalo, who made a bad error on his previous visit to Tynecastle in the 5-3 game, made two top quality saves from Gnanduillet in the first half and Gervane Kastaneer late on.
“He was excellent," Hopkin said. “A young goalkeeper, the longer we work with him the more we will get what I want out of him.
"Some of the saves he made were incredible.”