Gary Mackay: Nice to have Hearts’ name in last-16 draw again

Hearts showed great togetherness in defeating Aberdeen. Pic: SNS
Hearts showed great togetherness in defeating Aberdeen. Pic: SNS
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Finally, after a four-year wait, we can look forward to tonight’s draw for the last 16 of the Scottish Cup knowing that Hearts’ name will be in the hat.

It’s a massive boost for the whole club to still be in the competition after knocking out one of the favourites.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that Hearts deserved to win. We got in about Aberdeen and played the game on the front foot, with a high tempo that suited us. We made a positive start to the game and continued it right to the end. It was a real team performance, with a togetherness and work ethic evident throughout the side.

There’s been a bit of negativity about the performances and the lack of victories over the past couple of months, so hopefully this can kick-start things again.

If you can’t take confidence from beating the team second in the league, then you never will, so I’d like to think it can provide us with a platform to kick on and try and catch them in the Premiership. That will be easier said than done because Aberdeen are now entirely focused on the league while we have a cup run to try and sustain as well, but I’d certainly rather still be in the cup than out of it.

The Aberdeen supporters came down in numbers expecting to see another victory so it was a huge win for Hearts to be able to reverse the form from the last time they were down at Tynecastle in September.

The result obviously hasn’t gone down well with Aberdeen and their manager has had a few things to say about Hearts’ conduct in the aftermath. I respect Derek McInnes a lot and have always seen him as a classy operator, but I’d like to think he’ll reflect on his comments and realise that they carry a hint of sour grapes.

All Hearts were guilty of was trying to win a football match, the same way every team would have done in the circumstances. The after-match stuff shouldn’t detract from what was an excellent result and a superb performance from Hearts.

Our supporters clearly enjoyed the victory at the end, so hopefully we are able to carry the feel-good factor into Saturday’s game against Motherwell and start building a strong run of form in the second half of the season.