JOHN McGLYNN stressed today that Hearts should remain confident in their ability to create goalscoring opportunities as they head to Celtic Park this weekend.
Despite Saturday’s loss to Kilmarnock, the Tynecastle manager said he is not despondent.
Several chances were passed up in the 3-1 defeat by the Ayrshire club but McGlynn derives certain comfort from the fact his team is managing to open up opposition defences. Hearts scored six goals against Dundee United and Livingston before facing Kilmarnock and McGlynn is encouraged by the level of creativity despite inconsistent results.
“We need to keep faith, keep belief and keep working hard,” he told the Evening News. “We need to continue putting balls into areas where we can score goals, then we need to put them in the back of the net. Putting the ball in the net is the key thing.
“If we scored when we were on top against Kilmarnock then it’s a different ball game. There’s no magic wand to it. What we need to do is keep believing in ourselves, continue passing the ball and playing good football and creating opportunities.
“You do need some breaks. Against Dundee United, the ball landed at Callum Paterson’s feet and he strikes it well and we score. Then Arvydas Novikovas shoots from distance, he strikes it well and it goes in. These opportunities are coming but the ball just didn’t go in the net on Saturday. There’s a very thin line. We are scoring goals and we could score more, of course. But we have to keep believing in ourselves and keep confidence up.
“If you aren’t creating chances then that’s more difficult because you wonder how you are going to score. As long as you’re creating opportunities then you can eventually take them. The most important thing is the chances are there and we have been scoring goals – seven in our last three games.”
Two Hearts players have been named in the Scotland Under-21 squad for this month’s friendly matches against USA and Canada in Marbella. Dale Carrick and Jason Holt were included as coach Billy Stark begins preparations for the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers.
Ryan McGowan has been called up by Australia for their World Cup qualifier against Iraq, while Marius Zaliukas and Arvydas Novikovas are in Lithuania’s squad to face Liechtenstein and Bosnia.