Ross Callachan has urged the Hearts defence to continue their defiance after admitting he has never seen players who hate losing goals as much as them.
Christophe Berra and his defensive colleagues extended their club record to eight successive clean sheets in Wednesday night’s 3-0 win against Hamilton Academical.
It was Hearts’ 11th match in a row without defeat, with midfielder Callachan a goalscorer after returning from injury. The 24-year-old revealed he has been taken aback by the resilience of those behind him and credited manager Craig Levein for tightening the club’s back line.
“I’ve never played in a team where we’ve had eight clean sheets in a row. They just hate getting beaten,” said Callachan. “They’re moany but I wouldn’t have it any other way. They just hate losing and they hate conceding goals. I hope nobody scores against them. If they keep it up it will great if we can keep putting the ball in the net at the other end. We have eight clean sheets on the bounce and long may it continue. The defenders have been outstanding so credit to them. We know, if we even score one goal and they keep doing their jobs right, we are going to win the game. It’s a great incentive to go and score goals because we know, if we do, we’ll get the three points.”
Callachan explained that making Hearts harder to beat was one of Levein’s main priorities when he agreed to a second spell as manager in August.
“That was the first thing the gaffer did when he got the job. I came in at that point. He wanted to shore up that defence and stop conceding silly goals, and we’ve done that,” added the midfielder.
Wednesday night’s strike, which broke the deadlock, made it two in two games for Callachan at Hamilton’s SuperSeal Stadium. He scored his first Hearts goal there in a 2-1 victory last September.
“I wish we could play there every week. I would add 36 goals to my game,” he joked. “I’m just happy to be back playing in a winning team. Once we scored, we were comfortable in the game so we are happy to get the three points. If I can chip in with goals, plus Steven Naismith who is a great signing, it all helps. Naisy is a hell of a signing for us and we have Kyle Lafferty to come back from suspension as well next week.
“You’ve got to relish that competition for places. We’re at a big club. If there isn’t competition for places at Hearts, there should be. It’s healthy. You’re training to get a place in that first team and I like that.”
n HEARTS’ Premiership clash at home to Kilmarnock has been brought forward 24 hours to Tuesday, February 27 (7.45pm) to avoid a clash with Hibs’ match against Hamilton at Easter Road.