Hearts skipper Lawrence Shankland prepares to take on Kilmarnock at Tynecastle on Sunday believing the Jambos’ Euro hopes are still alive and kicking.
The Gorgie skipper scored a crucial header against Rosenborg in Norway on Thursday night to cut the home side’s lead to 2-1 ahead of the return game of the Europa Conference League third round qualifier next week.
The Edinburgh side were trailing to goals from Emil Frederiksen and Jayden Nelson at the interval but in the 78th minute Shankland, on his 28th birthday, headed in a Stephen Kingsley cross for his 30th goal for the Tynecastle side leaving them to face Killie in the cinch Premiership in a better mood.
The Scotland international told Hearts’ official website: “Don’t get me wrong, throughout the game, I thought we were very much in it.
“We played a lot of good stuff and just couldn’t really break them down – playing just inside their half instead of getting into the final third.
“We were happy with the performance overall; the second half was much better than the first.
“Momentum swings and we can now look forward to getting back to Tynecastle next week.
“It was good to see the fans here tonight with a very vocal support. They backed us all the way and thankfully we were able to get a goal for them. Next week we’ll be hoping for more of the same and hopefully they can back us to a victory.
“Rosenborg’s a good side, especially on the break, and that’s where their two goals came from.
“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb at half-time. The plan for the second half: get a goal, get back in the game, and make sure we’re still in the tie when we head back to Tynecastle. We’ve managed to do that and we’ll take the positives.”