Hearts’ Conor Shaughnessy recalls FA Cup nightmare with Leeds at Newport
Hearts defender Conor Shaughnessy is extra wary of the threat of underdogs Partick following last season’s painful FA Cup experience.
The defender scored an own goal as Leeds suffered a shock 2-1 third-round defeat against Sky Bet League Two side Newport.
The Welsh side then took Tottenham to a replay in the next round, while they also knocked Leicester and Middlesbrough out this season but that was no consolation for Shaughnessy, who is on loan at Tynecastle from Leeds.
The 22-year-old knows Partick will raise their game when they host Hearts in a William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final on Monday.
“I think they have been on a good run of form before they lost their last game,” Shaughnessy said of the Ladbrokes Championship club. “So they will be coming into this with that hunger.
“Obviously they are coming into it as an underdog so we have to be well prepared for that.
“That means we have to up our game again because that seems to happen in these cup games where smaller teams come out and can put in a really strong performance against a team in the league above them. So we will be ready for that.
“I was involved in the Newport game last season in the cup. That was a bad defeat for us so I know what it’s like to come up against a smaller team and not come away with a win.
“That was a really disappointing day but I have learned a lot from it and I will be passing it on to the lads here but I am sure a lot of them have been through it themselves.”
Outlining the circumstances, Shaughnessy added: “They performed well, it was away, it was difficult conditions and I think we maybe lacked a bit of quality on the day. Whether that was down to preparations or what, a change of team, I’m not sure.
“Take nothing away from them, they have done it a few times since then with Premier League sides, so they have obviously got a strong side down there, especially playing at home.
“I remember the feeling coming away from that defeat thinking I never want this to happen again. So I’ll be sure to be prepared any time I play in the cup against lower-league opposition.”
Shaughnessy admits it was difficult being on the end of criticism that followed from the Leeds fans.
“They are quick to let you know down there, as they are everywhere,” the Irishman said.
“But you have to expect that. They are paying their money to come and see you put in a good performance and win, so when that doesn’t happen, you can expect their feedback.”