Frankie McAvoy speaks on taking responsibility for Hearts' errors at Rosenborg and explains Beni Baningime issue

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Edinburgh club confident it’s game on at Tynecastle

Hearts head coach Frankie McAvoy is relishing the prospect of a full Tynecastle Park against Rosenborg next Thursday as the Edinburgh side look to overturn a 2-1 deficit. Lawrence Shankland’s late header in Trondheim gives Hearts a genuine chance in the second leg of the Europa Conference League third round qualifier after trailing 2-0 to Emil Frederiksen and Jayden Nelson goals for Rosenborg.

“The tie is alive, which was the most important thing when we were 2-0 down at half-time,” said McAvoy. “The important part was doing our utmost not to concede again but be a threat going forward. I felt in the first half we had a lot of possession, but it was safe, we didn’t play enough in behind them. We knew they’d be a threat in transition but we made a couple of errors of judgement and we got punished.

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“We’ll take responsibility for that because we ask them to be brave on the ball. We ask them to break lines and try and puncture the opposition. So that’s on us. We’ll continue to do that. We had a lot of the ball and I felt in the second half we had it in better areas and caused them more issues.

“But I did say they’re a decent team. It’s set up nicely for coming to Tynecastle next week. Hopefully there will be a full house. The fans were magnificent here from start to finish. I thought it was a good, competitive game and we’re looking forward to next week.”

McAvoy praised Stephen Kingsley’s cross and Shankland’s finish late in the game. “What we tried to do was make sure we didn’t concede again because 2-0 is a precarious scoreline. We always felt if we could be more brave in dangerous areas we could cause them issues. It’s a great delivery and a great header from Lawrence to keep us in the tie and keep it alive.

“The thing we have tried to instil in them is just keep working hard, keep doing the things we’re telling them to do, be brave and try and creat opportunities and I think we did that at times – particularly with balls into the box and balls into Shanks.

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“We were better in the second half than we were in the first. And you could see they didn’t want to concede again late on. They were happy to win and have that wee advantage going into next week.”

Hearts head coach Frankie McAvoy saw his side lose 2-1 in Norway. Pic: SNSHearts head coach Frankie McAvoy saw his side lose 2-1 in Norway. Pic: SNS
Hearts head coach Frankie McAvoy saw his side lose 2-1 in Norway. Pic: SNS

Beni Baningime came off with an injury at half-time in his first start for Hearts since March 2022. “He tried to get back in and stop the play and felt a wee niggle in the back of his hamstring,” explained McAvoy. “It’s better being safe than sorry with the length of time he has been out that we don’t take any chances.

“We have a competitive squad and it was a simple task to put Pete [Haring] back in for Beni. We believed Beni deserved his chance, he’s been out for a long time. And he’s a brave individual who wants to come in and do his utmost. We just need to make sure we take care of him. We’ll have more options next week – Tagawa, Nieuwenhof and Vargas as well. It’s set up nicely.”