24 Dec Hartley happy at comeback
Paul Hartley went from distressed to delighted after his Dundee side fought back from 2-0 down to beat Hearts 3-2 at Dens Park.
The Gorgie side got off to the perfect start when attacker Jamie Walker scored from the penalty spot in the third minute and defender Callum Paterson doubled their lead three minutes after the restart.
It looked like new Jambos head coach Ian Cathro was on his way to a first win but Darren O’Dea reduced the deficit before second-half substitute Paul McGowan levelled in the 71st minute with a close-range finish.
There was even more drama in the third minute of added time – due to an injury to Don Cowie – as a remarkable comeback was complete when striker Marcus Haber headed in a Tom Hateley free-kick.
Hartley, whose side moved up to seventh place in the Ladbrokes Premiership, said: “We were very poor in the first half and could have been dead and buried.
“But I think the players deserve credit because they went from being a team of individuals to a team in the second half.
“Once we scored I think the momentum went with us and we caused them a lot of problems by getting the ball into the box.
“The break for the injury maybe helped us because it gave us a chance to regroup and get back into our shape.
“We know we can’t start games like that but our home form has been good, that’s 10 points from the last four games.
“The way things happened tonight will give us confidence.”
Following a defeat at Rangers and a draw at home to Partick Thistle, Cathro was left shaken.
However, he is confident that such a capitulation would not happen again.
Cathro, who revealed Cowie was on his way to hospital after being carried off on a stretcher following a collision with O’Dea and Dundee goalkeeper Scott Bain, said: “Right now it’s difficult. Ultimately we were entirely in control of the game and we threw it away.
“I think I’ve got all the lessons I need. I’ve had two weeks and in that there have been a lot of lessons. I don’t think that will happen again.
“When the game reaches a point where you have that dominance then it’s down to your management of the game.
“You need leadership, strong mentalities and to understand how to manage minute-by-minute. The stoppage was a unique circumstance and we lost control.
“These are our mistakes. It’s on-pitch management and leadership to keep on top every minute.
“We’ve all got to grow. Everybody has got to grow. Everybody’s got to have a part of the leadership. We need people to grow up as well.
“I don’t know how Cowie is, he’s en route to hospital. He took an upper body knock.”