Hearts man praised by Rangers boss despite rising squad pressure

Philippe Clement enjoyed his first trip to Tynecastle despite criticisms of number of fans
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Hearts’ wonderful winning streak ended with Rangers defeating the Jambos 1-0 at Tynecastle with Abdullah Sima delivering the crushing blow. 

Steen Naismith’s side were full of confidence and hope as they welcomed back all the long-term absentees to the bench, with Nathaniel Atkinson in the starting XI. Tynecastle roared when Craig Gordon, Craig Halkett and Barrie McKay entered the stadium but the night would end in frustration and disappointment as Hearts were unable to capitalise on goal scoring opportunities. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With both Lawrence Shankland and Alex Cochrane going for goal early on, it was ultimately a defensive error which saw James Tavernier able to send the ball up to Sima for Rangers’ sole goal in the 33rd minute. On a night where Zander Clark was battling with the prospect of a returning Gordon, it was an unlucky moment. 

However, the Scotland international would go on to make some crucial saves throughout the 90 minutes and ensured he would only let the ball slip through the net once. 

Speaking after the match, Rangers’ boss Philippe Clement was full of praise for both goalkeepers. While Jack Butland denied Shankland, Cochrane and Vargas a moment of glory, the Belgian manager was quick to point to the sterling efforts of both glovesmen. 

“It’s crucial to have a good goalkeeper”, Clement affirmed. “I need to say on the other side there was some important saves. Even the chances with Abda (Abdullah Sima) who was flagged off side but I don’t think it was. From both sides it was good goalkeeping.” 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Clement’s first trip to Gorgie came off the back of a phenomenal run of form for the Jambos and neither the winning streak, nor the historic atmosphere Tynecastle is known to produce, past the ex-Monaco boss by.

“You play against a team that was in a good series of wins, with a lot of confidence and who spoke about having the confidence before the game to beat us,” Clement critiqued.

“So we knew we were coming to a tough place with fanatic supporters. We don’t get too many tickets here either so we had fewer fans than normal, but the ones here made a lot of noise.

“It’s a really important win. We created a lot of chances but that’s still a working point. We need to be more clinical. We need to kill off the game if we can and get the second goal.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It would have been a different end to the game because it allowed Hearts to stay in the game and with every long ball or long throw, they were looking for the chance that drops to someone’s feet. We had five big chances but for me, with our qualities, it should be at least three goals. So more things to work on."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.