‘He showed everyone’ - pundit picks out big Hearts moment that happened v Aberdeen
Latest Hearts news includes thoughts from a former player turned pundit
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Former Hearts midfielder Ryan Stevenson has insisted Kye Rowles will become ‘an even better and stronger player’ as he comes through a challenging period in his time at Tynecastle. The 11-times capped Australia international joined the Jam Tarts from A-League club Central Coast Mariners for an undisclosed fee last summer and went on to make 33 appearances in all competitions during his first season in Edinburgh.
However, Rowles has been subjected to some criticism after struggling to find form and was recently challenged by Hearts boss Steven Naismith. A reaction was found in Saturday’s impressive win against Aberdeen as the 25-year-old produced a solid display alongside Frankie Kent to ensure his side kept a claim sheet and had a solid foundation to build upon in their 2-0 victory.
Stevenson, who made 129 appearances over two spells at Tynecastle during his playing career, has described Rowles as a ‘big, big player’ for Naismith and believes a line has to be drawn over a difficult start to the season for player and club.
Writing for the Daily Record, he said: “Kye Rowles has had to come through a tough spell this season but on Saturday against Aberdeen I think he showed everyone exactly why he is a top defender for Hearts and Australia.
“He’s faced flak, calls to be dropped and worse. But taking that on the chin and coming through the other end will only make Rowles an even better and stronger player. Every player will go through highs and lows. That’s just life in general to be honest. It’s about how you react.”
He continued: “Rowles is a big, big player and Steven Naismith knows that. He stuck by him for that reason. The Aussie’s form has been reflective of Hearts’ up and down season. If the spine of the team isn’t playing well then that will always have an effect on results.
“That’s why it was good on Saturday to be able to draw a line under all that’s gone on this season with the European exit and the four defeats in a row. They were up against a good Aberdeen side and got a big result.”
Hearts are back in action on Saturday when they visit a St Mirren side sat in second place in the Premiership table.