A roller coaster of emotions – Frankie McAvoy hails thrilling Hearts comeback

By Sports Desk August 17, 2023 312

Frankie McAvoy savoured “a special occasion” at a packed Tynecastle as Hearts staged a stunning fightback to edge out Rosenborg in a dramatic Europa Conference League qualifier.

Cammy Devlin scored the decisive goal in stoppage time to secure a 3-1 win on the night and a 4-3 aggregate triumph, setting up a play-off round showdown with Greek side PAOK.

Head coach McAvoy believes it was a night to remember for the packed Tynecastle crowd as the Jambos clawed their way back into the match after trailing 3-1 on aggregate six minutes into the second leg.

“It was a roller coaster of emotions at the side of the pitch,” he said.

“We lost an early goal, which wasn’t ideal if I’m honest with you. And we looked a little tentative at the beginning, I don’t know if the occasion got to some of us.

“But character sums up the team. We came back, 3-1 down on aggregate, to win 4-3 on the night and the players deserve immense credit.

“The support drove us on, it was a special occasion. Tynecastle under the lights is difficult and daunting for anyone.

“Rosenborg are a good team, you saw that tonight. They had more of the ball than they did last week and they were more in our faces.

“So over the piece I am delighted for everyone connected with Hearts that we’re through to the next round.

“The ultras behind the goal really make it a big occasion in Scottish football and it is great to see. I can’t speak highly enough of them.

“They drove us on and that’s fantastic. Everyone talks about cliches of a 12th man, they were that tonight.”

Captain Lawrence Shankland started the fightback in the first half before Devlin – not renowned for his goal-scoring – sealed the deal with a double after the break.

McAvoy praised the Australian for his willingness to get forward from his deep-lying midfield role.

“I’m delighted for Cammy,” he said. “We like him. He’s done really well for us since we’ve come in. We’re delighted with him.

“The good thing is he’s getting forward and into the box, which is one of the things we have asked him to do. For me, he is a fantastic young player, a great squad member and we’re delighted with his contribution tonight.”

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Last modified on Thursday, 17 August 2023 17:38
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