03 Dec Walker misses three pointer
Jon Daly was delighted with the character shown by the Hearts players in a battling 2-2 Ladbrokes Premiership draw with Ross County at Global Energy Stadium.
The stand-in boss felt the players came through a memorable week with flying colours after an excellent win over Rangers in midweek and a credible draw in the Highlands, despite losing their management team of Robbie Neilson and Stevie Crawford to MK Dons.
Daly said: “They had to show character. At 1-0 down, especially in the first half, we looked a bit lethargic. We said that to them at half-time.
“It is probably understandable with the week and games they’ve had. They put everything into a big game against Rangers during the week and then found themselves 1-0 down in a game I didn’t think there was much in.”
“We knew beforehand how Ross County would play, putting balls into our box and putting us under pressure. We didn’t deal with the first ball and then the second ball goes in the back of the net.”
“But they showed great character to come back to 2-1 ahead. Again after that it’s a ball into the box we don’t deal with.
He added: “We give the penalty away and find ourselves back at 2-2. But we go back down the other end and win ourselves a penalty and the keeper makes a great save to keep it level.”
Daly picked out his goalkeeper for special mention, adding: “Jack Hamilton’s performances all season have been different class. That’s what he does for us. He makes good saves.
“The boys responded to that. If one or two of those went in we’d have been dead and buried, but we got ourselves ahead and showed great character, probably running on empty after the games we’ve had.”
County boss Jim McIntyre was left to rue missed chances for the second successive week.
He said: “There’s a fair bit of disappointment. We were on top for that period of 20 minutes after half-time and needed to capitalise on the chances we created.
“When you don’t, you know Hearts are a good side and know they’re going to have a period in the game. They’re very strong, with flair in the wider areas and a lot of physicality. Their deliveries and set plays are excellent – and they’re a real handful.
“So to be pegged back was disappointing, but I thought we showed a great reaction to it, kept at it and didn’t feel sorry for ourselves.”
The manager was also complimentary about the display of goalkeeper Scott Fox, following his late penalty save which denied Hearts’ Jamie Walker a winning goal.
McIntyre said: “Foxy came up with a brilliant save. That would have been really harsh on us at the end to lose the match, because it would have killed it.
“Equally, I think Jack Hamilton has made a couple of great saves from Liam Boyce headers as well, so I’m really pleased with what they gave us.”