Demetri Mitchell explained today that the positive vibe at Hearts has helped him hit the ground running since arriving on loan from Manchester United last month.
The 21-year-old marked his sixth start in maroon by scoring the first senior goal of his career as he helped the Tynecastle side defeat St Johnstone 3-0 and set up a Scottish Cup quarter-final showdown with Motherwell at Fir Park next month.
Mitchell’s impressive form at both left-back and left-wing-back since joining on loan until the summer has helped Craig Levein solve what had become a problem position for Hearts in recent seasons. After highlighting his soaring confidence levels with a stunning strike from 23 yards out which put his side 2-0 up on Saints, the Mancunian told how he has adapted to life in Edinburgh with ease.
“A move is only as good as you make it and I feel like I’ve made the most of it so far,” said Mitchell. “I’m enjoying it a lot. I’ve played six games and we’ve won four, and that’s the most important thing. When you’re playing in a team that’s winning, it’s more enjoyable and the team spirit’s better. I feel like I’m in with the team already. I feel like I’ve been here longer than a month. The players have really warmed to me and embraced me, which has helped me more than anything.”
Mitchell was delighted to break his duck in front of his father, Roger, who was at Tynecastle along with other family members. “I’ve been close in previous games against Hibs and Motherwell at Tynecastle so I felt it was coming,” he said. “I’ve finally got my first goal at Hearts and I’m buzzing. I had been practising those shots in training and they weren’t quite coming off but practice makes perfect. When it left my boot, I felt like I had made a good connection. It’s my first goal at first-team level so I’ll always remember it. My dad came up for the game so I had to give him a goal. He watches every other game on Hearts TV, and so does my mum (Sally).”
Mitchell was pleased to help Hearts on their way to a potentially significant victory as they eye their first silverware since winning the Scottish Cup in 2012. “I was just relieved that we had gone 2-0 up because when you’re only 1-0 up, it can be harder,” he said. “I know how important the Scottish Cup is and I know that if we can win the Scottish Cup, we’ll get into Europe so that’s something we’re striving towards. Now we’re through to the next round, it gives us something extra to look forward to.”
Hearts’ quarter-final tie against Motherwell will take place on weekend of March 3-4.