Olly Lee has backed goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal to recover from his game-changing mistake against Celtic and stressed he had no need to apologise to his teammates.
Zlamal will be pitched straight back into the firing line against Hibs tomorrow night at Tynecastle and will aim to atone for Sunday’s error. Lee, pictured, argues he has already made up for it with a string of stops that helped save Hearts from a trouncing in the Betfred Cup semi-final clash.
“He was disappointed and he has said sorry, but he has saved us so many times this season so he didn’t need to do that,” said the midfielder. “He has been brilliant. It was a credit to him that he took responsibility, but it was just unfortunate. He pulled off some great saves which kept the scoreline respectable.
“We just said ‘it’s fine’. He has saved us a number of times this season. We would be on less points without him. He didn’t need to say anything, but that’s the kind of guy he is.”
Lee is confident the entire team can bounce back against Hibs and help erase the memory of the semi-final disappointment. He is still struggling to process how many Hearts fans turned up to back the team at BT Murrayfield.
“It was ridiculous,” he said. “I can’t tell you how much the lads appreciated it. We were all buzzing to be going out there at the start. In the first-half we felt we acquitted ourselves well. We were well in the game. We just needed the rub of the green. If we had got that first goal, something to frustrate them a little bit more, it could have been different. It wasn’t to be. But we gave it our all.
Lee added that he “loved every minute of the game” despite the defeat.
“It was great going out there and seeing 30,000 Hearts fans. It was brilliant. It is the reason I came up here. We are striving to be involved in these games a lot. It was a first taste for us. There will be a lot more to come.”
“It was a shame we couldn’t get a result. But we have got another big game on Wednesday night. That is the great thing about football, you can look to the next big game. Hopefully we can go and beat Hibs. If we do that everyone will feel better again.”