Date: 15th December 2015 at 3:32pm
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A frustrated and disappointed head coach, Robbie Neilson, wasn’t going to take those emotions out on youngster Jordan McGhee after he conceded the late penalty in the game against Aberdeen at Pittodrie at the weekend to gift them the win.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference, Neilson defended the player for the error, admitting that sometimes lady luck just goes against you, and for our 19 year old, with three minutes remaining in the game, the handball was just that – but it was something he will learn from and be more mindful of in the future.

‘I thought we deserved something from the game. It was a tight game, and we had chances to win it in the second half. I think we`re progressing and moving in the right direction, I`m just disappointed with the manner of the goal we lost. We`ve come a long way in a short space of time to be disappointed not to have taken a result at Pittodrie. We`ll keep developing our players, that`s what the club is about, and mistakes will happen when you give young players a chance.’

As for the mistake more specifically, he went on to say.

‘That`s football. It happens all the time, a player makes a bad mistake. If you don`t want mistakes, you don`t play kids in your team but then how do you develop players? Jordan was playing left full-back in the biggest game of the weekend.’

Arguably Neilson could also argue that if you don’t want mistakes then you don’t play anybody as McGhee won’t have been the only player – 19 or 30 year’s old – this weekend to have dropped an almighty clanger during 90 minutes that cost their side.

The gaffer went on to say that at full time in the dressing room it definitely wasn’t a case of finger pointing, but neither was it a case of wrapping him in cotton wool. He wasn’t to be blamed, but equally you don’t remove him from the firing line, as how else would he learn?

‘I thought he was outstanding today and he`s made one mistake and we`ve lost. I could sign a 30 year old to play left-back but that goes against what we want to do at the club. He won`t do that the next time a cross comes in. He`s a 19 year old kid, he knows what he did, he doesn`t need us to tell him that. The only way we`ll develop him is by supporting him, we can`t lambast every player who makes a mistake. We`ll continue to blood our young players and take the bad with the good.’

Sam Nicholson was also interviewed after the game, and he was also focused on the positives of how far Hearts have come that a side like Aberdeen needed a penalty to take the win against us.

‘Obviously we`re disappointed, but I think we showed today we can compete with teams up the league, as it could have gone either way. It`s just not gone the right way. Both teams had a lot of chances. We were well on top in the second half, and we should have taken one of our chances. I thought my effort might be in, but I wasn`t surprised when it came back out. As you know, I don`t score many goals. The game could have gone either way, but they managed to get the goal.’

Nicholson was also quick to point out that it shouldn’t be doom and gloom time because it is our first defeat in nine games.

‘It`s our first defeat in nine games, so we know we`re capable of going on another run of games without losing. We`ve got a good squad with real mental strength and we`ll push on from here.’

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