Hearts manager Gary Locke lavished praise on his young side after an impressive and convincing victory over St Mirren at Tynecastle.
Jamie Walker delivered a contender for goal of the season before a rasping free-kick from Kevin McHattie – his first goal for the club – and a Jamie Hamill penalty put gloss on a well-deserved victory as the Jambos bounced back in style from last week’s defeat at Dundee.
A beaming Locke enthused about his team as he addressed the media in his post-match press conference, paying special attention to his young goalscorers.
“As a team, we were different class,” he stated. “What we saw was the standard we’re capable of. In the first half, Jamie Walker was different class. He’s been threatening a goal like that for a few weeks. There’s a lot of positives around the club right now that might not be picked up on.
“Kevin’s been brilliant for us as well,” he continued. “He had a difficult patch, like all young lads will, and we took him out the team for a while. You forget how young he is because of how well he’s doing at the moment.
“There were 11 under-21s involved in the match. If they can maintain that kind of performance we’ll be at the right end of the table.”
With a crowd of more than 16,000 at the match, the gaffer was keen to deliver his own personal gratitude for the support he and his team have received this season, and revealed how happy he was that they could reward the Gorgie faithful with a vibrant, attacking display.
“We had a big crowd and we made it clear that they had to deliver for them. I’m happiest for the supporters. We’re all so thankful for the support we get from the fans and we’re just delighted we could give them a good performance and a great result.”
Hearts: MacDonald (c), Hamill, McHattie, Barr, Taouil (McGhee 87), McGowan, Holt, Stevenson, Carrick (Smith 63), Sutton, Walker (King 80). Subs not used: Ridgers, Smith, Prychynenko, McKay.
St Mirren: Samson, Van Zanten (Parkin 37), Dummett, McAusland, McGowan, Mair, Teale, Goncalves (Robertson 58), Thompson (Brett Guy 73), Newton, Mclean.
Ref: Brian Colvin.