LIVINGSTON manager John McGlynn admitted he was “very, very surprised” to see a Hearts team-sheet that contained ten changes to the side that defeated Hibernian on Sunday. McGlynn’s team were convincing winners in the end in last night’s Petrofac Training Cup second round tie after Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson opted for a nearly complete shake-up.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think there would be so many changes,” McGlynn said, after Livingston progressed to the last eight at the expense of a much-changed Hearts team that included five debutants. “I thought the young lads in the Hearts team did very well – they were passing the ball well. But we were coping with that and on the counter attack we were dangerous. Certainly I was very, very surprised [at their team]. I did not think he would change as much as that. But that’s up to him. The fear is that my lads see a team full of young players and they have the wrong attitude.”
Neilson said the experience had been a valuable one for his young players since it prepares them for future outings in the league. He described the Petrofac Cup as a “development” cup as far as Hearts are concerned. Other priorities are at the forefront of their minds, such as promotion.
“It was a great learning curve for them,” he said. “We used this tournament as a chance for these guys to get out and play and see what it is like. Once it goes to 2-0 down it becomes a different game. If these boys to come and play for us in a league game they will know what to expect.
“The Petrofac Cup for us is a development cup. It would have been easy for us to come here and play our strongest XI. But that is not going to develop players.”