Ryan Stevenson gets spot kick boost from Gary Locke

Hearts' Ryan Stevenson takes a spot kick against Kilmarnock. Picture: SNS
Hearts' Ryan Stevenson takes a spot kick against Kilmarnock. Picture: SNS
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HEARTS manager Gary Locke expects Ryan Stevenson to continue taking penalties despite missing against Kilmarnock on Saturday.

Cameron Bell saved the midfielder’s effort from the spot during the second half of Hearts’ 1-0 win, but Locke said today he has no problem with Stevenson taking the team’s next penalty kick.

“He scored the last two and he was confident at the time,” said Locke.

“He’ll probably hit better penalties, but he had the bottle to go up and take it. Whatever happens, when we get another one, I’m sure he’ll step up and take it again.”

Locke praised his players for their ball retention at Rugby Park and professed himself “delighted” at recording a clean sheet.

“Jamie Walker and Jason Holt played well, but as a team, I thought we did very well, especially in the first half.

“We were impressive going forward and maybe could have had another couple of goals. If Stevo sticks the penalty away in the second half then it’s a wee bit more comfortable for us, but we defended brilliantly and I was really pleased with the overall team performance.

“I was delighted with the clean sheet. We defend as a team, not just the back four and Jamie MacDonald. We defend from the front.

“Seeing boys throw themselves in front of the ball is just as pleasing as scoring a goal. That’s the fight and desire that will get you points because this is a tight league.

“It’s whoever wants it at the end of the day that inevitably wins the game.”