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Stevenson praise for Hearts
Published : 07 Apr 2013 17:17:00Rss feed
Hearts captain Ryan Stevenson believes everyone at the club will get a big lift from the team's first comeback win of a disappointing season. With the Edinburgh club far ahead of Dundee in 11th, prior to Saturday's match, and already confined to the bottom six, a lack of fighting spirit would have been forgivable against a Ross County side chasing Europe. A point, never mind three, looked unlikely as time ticked away with the hosts trailing to an impressive double by Steffen Wohlfarth. The German, making his first start for County, scored a cracking opener after firing the ball into the top corner from a tight angle before restoring his side's advantage, scoring a header five minutes after Michael Ngoo had done so for Hearts. However, Hearts responded with three goals in five minutes to steal all three points. Despite having little to play for in the league table, Stevenson sees the victory as an important one for a young Hearts side. "I don't think we've come from the behind this season and won," said Stevenson. "It's a big result this. Where we are in the league table, looking at it it's grim, and with the cup final not too long ago, there is still a bit of gloom about the place. So we just want to try and finish the season as strong as we can, to see if we can get seventh place. "The win gives everybody a lift." The fightback was inspired by a double substitution at half-time, and the late addition of John Sutton, which put more emphasis on getting balls into the penalty area. When County failed to deal with one such cross, Jason Holt hooked in a 20-yard shot to bring Hearts level before a wild attempted clearance from Evangelos Ikonomou gave the home team the lead. Ngoo wrapped the points up with an 84th-minute drive under Michael Fraser. The second-half display instilled the confidence in Gary Locke, winning his first match since being made permanent manager, that his players are willing to fight until the end of the season. "The players showed the type of spirit and fighting qualities that I am looking for," said Locke. "If they give me that between now and the end of the season then I will be happy. "I'm not bothered about any other team and where they are. I am just concerned about putting on performances here that the fans are going to like and try and get as many points as we can. Then we'll see where that takes us." Ross County boss Derek Adams watched, for the second week in succession, his side dominate a game but take nothing from it. Trailing Inverness by six points in third place, he admitted that achieving a European place may now be unlikely. "We've had a terrific season but we will start looking towards next season now," admitted Adams. "Looking at who we could maybe sign for next season and enjoy the last five games of the current one. "Europe is now Motherwell and Inverness' really."
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