Reaction: Alex Cleland Post-match Interview

Wednesday 11th April

After last night’s 3-2 defeat away to Hearts, Saints Under 20s coach Alex Cleland spoke to the Official Website as he reflected on the game. “I thought we did well first half, the second half I felt it was always going to be hard because of the quality they have got. Hearts have got a lot of really good young players, their front four/five have a lot of first team experience. So, we were aware it was going to be hard and that the next goal was going to be crucial. We knew at 2-0 that was not going to be enough at half time and I told them that as we expected a response from Hearts and it came second half. We are just disappointed in the way we played second half in terms of keeping the ball, we didn’t show enough bravery on the ball as we did first half. I think if we had done that second half it would have helped us. The goals we lost were poor goals to lose and it’s been the same all season, we’ve lost poor goals and that’s why we have lost so many games.”

In recent weeks, the young Saints have recorded good wins against Motherwell and Kilmarnock and that seemed to have given the side confidence as they put in an impressive first half showing last night. “I think recent results have helped as they have been good so that kind of breeds confidence. I think the pitch also helped as it was excellent so we were able to pass the ball well as did Hearts, it was a really good game. In the first half Hearts could have been 2-0 in the first couple of minutes of the game. However, we went up the park and took our chances. We created good chances, passing the ball well and was brave on the ball. Hearts changed their shape a little bit so we had to adapt to that. Going in 2-0 up at half time was good but I’m just disappointed that we didn’t use the ball well in the second half.”

Saints second goal was scored by Jamie Docherty who was playing through the middle last night which was causing problems for the Hearts defence. “Jamie was good, he was playing through the middle as we had injuries to Shaun Struthers and John Robertson so Jamie had to revert to probably his preferred role through the middle. He did really well especially first half, second half he was a wee bit isolated that’s why we had to get Oliver Hamilton on to give him a hand. However, we just couldn’t get that goal to get back into the game.”

Interview by Daryl Scott