Gary Mackay: Hearts must take advantage of kind Scottish Cup draw
If you are going to win a Scottish Cup, you won’t get a better opportunity than a run of ties against Auchinleck, Livingston, Partick Thistle and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
If Hearts aren’t able to overcome Partick and Inverness to give ourselves a one-in-two chance of lifting the trophy, then they should really be looking in the mirror and questioning themselves.
Monday night’s result at Firhill was disappinting but the positive is that we are still in the cup with a home replay against a team languishing at the bottom of the Championship.
When you have that and you know you have Inverness in the semi-final if you get through, then you couldn’t ask for a more favourable draw. We had Auchinleck Talbot at home in the fourth round and then Livingston at home in the next round. We cannot look at the cup draw and think it hasn’t been helpful.
First we have a replay against Partick at home and there’s no doubt there could be a nervousness in that game. We had it years ago against Airdrie, although they had a better knowledge of us because Alex MacDonald had brought a lot of us through.
There are a lot of Hearts connections in the Inverness group with a number of ex-players up there, plus the manager, so that would definitely bring a pressure should we get to the semis.
The tie really should have been dead and buried on Monday night but, given how much possession we had, we didn’t trouble the Partick goalkeeper enough. I can’t really think of him having to make a really big save. It was all balls into the box like an aerial bombardment.
We seemed to look upon Thistle as having defensive frailties in the air and that worked for a period of time but, after a while, you also need to be able to cut teams open. We didn’t do that and we didn’t create enough clear-cut chances for the possession we had.