HEARTS manager John McGlynn has apologised to supporters for Sunday’s agonising defeat by rivals Hibs after their Scottish Cup defence ended at the first hurdle.
Hibs gained a measure of revenge for May’s 5-1 Hampden thrashing after David Wotherspoon’s shot took a wicked deflection off Hearts skipper Marius Zaliukas to find the net in the 82nd minute. The fourth-round tie appeared to be heading for a replay before the midfielder’s effort spun off Zaliukas and beat the helpless Jamie MacDonald. Despite the nature of the defeat, McGlynn feels compelled to say sorry to the 3,500 supporters who packed out the away end at Easter Road. McGlynn, whose time in the dugout has been blighted by off-field concerns over the club’s finances, said: “The fans were absolutely magnificent and I can only apologise. We went to Easter Road to win the game. I apologise. Every single one of us is gutted, so we know exactly how everyone is feeling.
“I can’t thank them enough for staying till the end and supporting the team. They were absolutely fantastic. To lose by such a flukey goal is really galling and disappointing. It means so much to us, so every single one of us is gutted.
“Neither team created a lot of opportunities to score in the second half and I thought we were in total control at the back. It didn’t look like we would lose a goal. The strike took a wicked deflection, it goes in the air and ends in the back of the net.”
McGlynn must now pick up his players for Saturday’s visit of Aberdeen as Hearts look to improve on their current league position of ninth. Injuries to Arvydas Novikovas and Darren Barr in Leith compounded Hearts’ woes and McGlynn is keeping his fingers crossed for good news over his walking wounded.
Hearts went into the game without Danny Grainger, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with cruciate ligament damage, Jason Holt and Dylan McGowan.
Novikovas was replaced at the interval by Andrew Driver after sustaining an ankle problem, while Barr hobbled off on the hour mark.
McGlynn added: “Arvydas hurt his ankle when he had a shot at goal. Darren, it’s a bit too early to tell. Our injury situation was good for most of the season, now you pick up one and all of a sudden two, three, four, five have cropped up. Jason and Dylan are responding well so it might be, with a bit of luck, they will be available for the Aberdeen game. We’ll assess things as the week goes on.”