Hearts boss Craig Levein has saved his praise for assistant manager Austin MacPhee following the Jambos’ League Cup quarter final win.
After a 2-2 draw after 120 minutes, the tie with Aberdeen went to penalties. Hearts coasted the shootout, winning 3-0 and booking a semi-final date with Rangers in November.
Levein admits it’s MacPhee’s work on the training ground that has helped Hearts secure a big victory.
He told the Daily Record (Page 63, 26/09/19): “We’ve been practising penalties since before the semi at Murrayfield. And all credit to Austin, he was working on it in case we got in a similar situation.
“Credit to him and the boys for coming through. I don’t know if I’ve got any energy left to celebrate it.”
MacPhee has worked his magic for Hearts
With just under a year’s worth of penalty practice, it’s no wonder Hearts looked like experts from the spot, and that’s down to MacPhee.
At this point most Jambo players should be scoring every spot kick they hit and that proved to be the case against Aberdeen.
By contrast, it didn’t appear to look like the Dons had practiced their spot kicks much. Sam Cosgrove, who had scored two during the match, Bruce Anderson and Niall McGinn all missed from 12 yards.
MacPhee has spent hours upon hours preparing for a situation like this it seems. When the time came for the players to show him what they’d learnt, they didn’t let him down.