We missed the Jon Daly stuff (chatting to someone outside & couldn’t be arsed getting inside on time) so didn’t record the controversial stuff from him but we did get Brendan, Leigh & Berra.
Press: Brendan was a case of picking up where you left off at the end of the season?
Brendan: Yeah, it was a very good performance on the back of our European game in the week. Obviously the flight going up today meant that the competition was up and running from today, so we wanted to make a good performance, and put a statement down in our very first game. I thought the players were outstanding in all elements of our game and we want to be patient cause it I thought Hearts were set up very well at the beginning of the game. Four five one and kept it tight and compact, so we had to work the ball and try and find the spaces. Disappointed to be only one up at half time, but then second half we really, as I said, they started to tyre a little bit and then you can get in between them a wee bit more. We scored four and maybe could of had a few more.
Press: You spoke to us yesterday about what you expected from Hearts, and what you made of Ian Cathro’s dismissal. Jon Daly’s suggested that maybe it’s a bit disrespectful what you had to say. What do you respond to that?
Brendan: I hope Jon gets the job. I have nothing to respond, I said what I had to say yesterday. My feeling honour a fellow manager losing his job. But it’s okay. It’s okay. There’s no drama. Like I said, when I first come up here I’ll always be open, I’ll say what I think and then move on. In respect to Jon I thought he set up his team very well, him and his coaching staff. Good organisation, and like I said, we had to really to work to get the results. However they feel however they take it’s no drama from me.
Press: Have you had a chance to speak him or Craig today at all?
Brendan: No. No not at all, no. No word. Obviously straight into press afterwards so I haven’t seen him.
Press: Do you think you overstepped the mark with some of the comments?
Press: Talking about individual players?
Brendan: I never mentioned any individual players. I was talking about manager.
Press: He seemed to think you did.
Brendan: Absolutely certain. But I don’t think I mentioned individual players. For me, there’s no issue, but no drama, it’s however they want to take it. My focus is on the game and my empathy was for the manager, Ian Cathro, or the former manager. So, it’s a good club Hearts, and I’m sure they’ll get the solution for the next job, a manager and they’ll look to push on.
Press: You gave Nir Bitton another run as a centre-half today, was that just to in preparation for Europe. Do you expect that that’s gonna be his role over the next few games with what you’re left with just now?
Brendan: I think you can change very comfortable in it. Firstly he can defend, it’s not something that we’ve just thrown him in there. He’s played a lot of that in training, and a lot of exercises he’s played at centre-half. And like I say, he’s good in the air, he’s a good size. He reads the game well as a defender and he’s brave. And then he has the courage to play. He can get on the ball, starts the attacks from behind. I’ve got comfort in putting him in there. I thought he was outstanding when he come on during the week, and I thought today if you didn’t know he’d played a midfielder a lot of his career you would say he looked like a top centre-half.
Press: Can you see him growing into that over time and it being an option for him, if you like?
Brendan: I think it is. I think he knows my feeling on it. I know his first position is as a centre midfield player, but I always like to have a midfield player that can play in that central defensive role and he’s perfect for it – his height, his size, his profile and obviously, like I say, you need certain qualities to play there in terms of reading out the game defensively. But also having the ability to play and I think he’s perfect for it.
Okay. Thank you. Cheers.
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