Exclusive: Cammy Devlin surprised by Rangers time-wasting as Hearts hero reveals why he wants a white Christmas

Cammy Devlin, Hearts’ popular Australian midfield buzzbomb, is still getting used to Scottish football, but even he knows enough to be surprised by the sight of reigning champions Rangers time-wasting 25 minutes into a game at Tynecastle.

By Craig Fowler
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 9:00 am
Scott Arfield challenges Hearts' Cammy Devlin during Rangers' 2-0 win at Tynecastle. Picture: SNS
Scott Arfield challenges Hearts' Cammy Devlin during Rangers' 2-0 win at Tynecastle. Picture: SNS

In fairness, the visitors were already two goals to the good thanks to a couple of ruthless finishes from Alfredo Morelos and Joe Aribo after the home side had started the match in the ascendancy. But typically an early 2-0 deficit to Rangers, or Celtic for that matter, sparks widespread fear of an embarrassing result. Instead, Hearts controlled the bulk of the play and could easily have forced themselves back into things if they’d taken just one of several chances passed up throughout the 90 minutes.

For Devlin, it was strange to see the visitors sitting back and trying to run out the clock with so much time left in the match, though it could be considered a compliment to how effective Hearts have been for the majority of this season as Robbie Neilson’s side retain a five-point lead in third place.

"I think it was about 25 minutes into the game, and I know they were 2-0 up, but it was quite surprising they started to do some time-wasting,” he told the Evening News. “Not something I expected against a team like Rangers in what was my first home match against them. I was getting on at the referee because if football isn't being played then we're not going to get as many opportunities to score.

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"It just shows that they think we're a good team and we certainly believe when we play with the ball we're a very good team. We practise hard during the week. We had our rotations and our plan and I think it worked really well. We played some good football and had so many chances, if we played the game again tomorrow maybe those chances would go in.

"We're in a really good spot. We're not content with being in third. We want to be higher and that's why we're so disappointed by the Rangers result. We went into the game wanting nothing but three points and to try and challenge higher up the table.

"It is a compliment they defended so deep. It is a tough place to come. I wouldn't want to come play here if I was an opposition player. It's just lucky I am a Hearts player.”

The 23-year-old remains a beacon of positivity whenever he reflects on his new life in Scotland. The summer signing from Newcastle Jets has been an ever-present since coming on as substitute in the 2-2 draw with Ross County in mid-September, playing every single minute and endearing himself to the fans with his all-action style of play.

Ironically, the upcoming Ross County game on Boxing Day will represent the first time Devlin misses out after going over the disciplinary points threshold following his booking in the Rangers defeat. Though he’s gutted to be missing out due to his desperation to play each and every match, despite the cinch Premiership’s punishing winter schedule, he will have the support of his mum and dad who will today arrive from Australia to spend time with their son over Christmas.

"I'm shattered that I’m out of the County game. I don't want to miss any games. I love playing matches, it's the best part of the job,” he said. “I’m so gutted to be out for it but I guess it's just the way I play. I'm going to get yellow cards but I guess I could be a bit smarter about it.

"I'm loving things at the moment. I've got my mum and dad coming so that'll be really nice. I'm living on my own here and have been out with the boys to see what Edinburgh has to offer at Christmas time. It's really beautiful. It is getting cold, though, so I'm spending a lot more of my time with the heating on. But yeah, my mum and dad coming will be really special.

“I'm hoping it'll be a white Christmas. If I'm going to be over here in the cold I may as well get to see some snow. It's certainly different to being back home where I'd probably be down the beach with the boys. I don't think I'll bother heading down to Portobello! But no it should be good. Even if it is cold it doesn't matter, I'm just delighted to be here.”

Hearts finished Sunday’s match with ten men after Josh Ginnelly was shown a second yellow for getting in the face of Borna Barisic after the Rangers full-back reacted angrily to a challenge from Devlin. Though it was an error in judgement from the winger, Devlin appreciates his friend sticking up for him and promised the action will be reciprocated in future – as long as he’s not on a yellow.

"He's a bit angry with himself, but I think he was just backing up one of his boys, which I appreciate to be honest,” Devlin said. “He's disappointed but I know if he wasn't on a second yellow he'd go back and do it again. I'd do the same for him. We're mates and look out for each other on the pitch, but obviously on a yellow he maybe shouldn't have done it.

“It's a great changing room to walk into. All of the boys come into work really happy and we all enjoy each other's company away from the club. On the pitch we love playing together in front of the fans and we've got a great bond together. It's a special changing room to be apart of and we just need to keep getting those wins because that makes it all even better.”

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