Aaron McEneff's insight into Hearts' training and the routine that leaves him gobsmacked by Craig Gordon

Aaron McEneff's insight into Hearts' training and the routine that leaves him gobsmacked by Craig Gordon
© Aaron McEneff felt he should have scored against Livingston on Sunday after a couple of chances fell…

The visitors survived a first-half onslaught from Livingston thanks to Craig Gordon’s brilliance, then rallied after the interval to earn three vital league points through Liam Boyce’s winning goal. For midfielder Aaron McEneff, there was additional solace to enjoy as the team coaches pulled out of West Lothian.

The Irishman was grateful for a second successive starting place after finding himself marginalised for much of the campaign. He was also thankful for the chance to again witness Gordon’s mastery at close quarters in a game situation.

McEneff regularly spends extra time after training sessions working on shooting, with the Scotland international goalkeeper representing a rather mean and perhaps even daunting barrier. Watching those limbs extend to all angles on Riccarton’s pitches is one thing, seeing them defy Premiership opponents every week is quite another.

Fans in attendance were left speechless at Gordon’s triple save on Sunday, although McEneff wasn’t entirely surprised given his midweek routine.

“It was two saves, two posts, and two blocks. Something like that. He is just unbelievable,” said the player. “He does it every day in training. I stay behind in training most days and hit shots at the big man. Sometimes he’s lying on the ground before the ball is even hit and he’s just plucking them out of the air. He’s different class.

Aaron McEneff's insight into Hearts' training and the routine that leaves him gobsmacked by Craig Gordon
© Aaron McEneff is back in the Hearts team.

“As a team we regrouped in the changing room at half-time and we got ourselves going in the second half. We missed a fair amount of chances to go further in front and the boys at the back took care of it defensively. Thankfully we got it done.

“We didn’t really come out of the blocks in the first half. For whatever reason we didn’t get going and Livingston were well on top but we have a top-class goalkeeper and he kept us in it.

“Then we changed our shape a bit and when we got in at half time 0-0 we knew we had to lift ourselves. I think we did that. We came out in the second half like a different team.”

It is no shock that a frank exchange of views took place inside the Hearts dressing room during the break. Around 4,000 travelling supporters jeered their team from the field at the half-time whistle, with Livingston in the ascendancy and wondering why they hadn’t scored a couple of goals by that stage.

It led to an interesting half-time chat. “These things happen. You come to an away game in Scottish football and we were well warned beforehand that it wasn’t going to be easy,” explained McEneff. “It was my first time playing there. It was a lot of the boys’ first time there and it’s a lot different to when you play Livingston at Tynecastle.

“They were well up for it in the first half but it was frustrating from our point of view that we did not come out of the blocks quickly. But we changed it and got going. We gave it a good go and could have been more comfortable.”

Asked about the widespread booing and jeering, McEneff gave a philosophical response. “As a player it’s important to stay calm. It’s not going to be nice and rosey every game. You have to rely on defenders sometimes and you have to rely sometimes on a world-class goalkeeper to dig you out.

“Obviously you don’t want to rely on that but that’s football. Sometimes you have to grind it out. When we got in at half time at 0-0 we were well in the game and we made changes to the system for the second half.

“As long as you stay calm and trust your ability you know you will get chances. Boycey’s finished his chance.”

McEneff returned to Hearts’ line-up against Celtic last Thursday for his first league start of the season. Not since the opening Premier Sports Cup group stage tie at Peterhead on July 10 had he been named in a competitive starting XI by manager Robbie Neilson.

The intervening five months have tested the midfielder’s resolve and he was delighted to retain his place against Livingston. “It has been difficult at times being out of the squad and being on the bench. You want to get a run and keep yourself going,” said McEneff.

“I’ve started the last two and hopefully I can kick on from that. To be honest, I don’t know how I didn’t score on Sunday. On another day I might have got a goal.”

Boyce’s solitary strike was enough for Hearts to surge five points clear of fourth-placed Dundee United and cement themselves in third spot in the cinch Premiership. It also secured the club’s first away victory since beating United 2-0 at Tannadice back on August 28.

“It’s a good thing. Every game you want to get the three points,” said McEneff. “We have probably played better away from home than we did against Livingston and dropped points. So it’s a great feeling to pick up three points away from home.

“We have started well this year but we don’t focus too much on what’s around us. We try to focus on ourselves. This game is done now and we’ve got a big game next Sunday against Rangers. So we will prepare properly this week and focus on that.”

READ MORE: McCulloch and Forrest absent from Hearts

A message from the Editor: Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven’t already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital sports subscription.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

SSC CGL Exam 2021: Last date to apply is January 23, here's how to apply

SSC CGL Exam 2021: The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) had released online applications for the Combined Graduate Level Examination 2021 on their website. The last date to submit online applications ... Read more »

Taliban warns against women's rights activism after two activists were seized from their homes

© Provided by WION Taliban authorities have warned that they have all the rights to crackdown on dissent and jailed protestors. This comes in as concerns grow over the disappearance ... Read more »

Florida redistricting plan faces opposition from DeSantis

© The Hill Florida redistricting plan faces opposition from DeSantis Florida state senators this week offered a rare hint of bipartisan agreement on a plan to redraw a swing state’s ... Read more »

Taraji P. Henson Just Dropped Her Favorite Deep Conditioning Mask for Natural Curls

Taraji P. Henson just showed how to use her favorite hair mask for an at-home twist-out—and it’s from her own haircare line, of course. The Empire star relies on the ... Read more »

People share their colleagues' acts of incredible kindness

Most people spend hours of their life at work, so it’s not surprising that they often become good friends with their colleagues.  But these co-workers from the US and Canada  ... Read more »

Donald Trump blasts the 'vicious' Jan. 6 committee and NY AG for targeting his children Ivanka and Donald Jr.

© Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images Donald Trump along with his children Eric(L) Ivanka and Donald Jr. arrive for a press conference January 11, 2017 at Trump Tower in ... Read more »

Can they fix it? UK project to explore ability and desire to repair tech

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Hero Images/Getty Images From fancy toys to smartphones, when technology breaks, it often seems simplest to ditch it for a new model. But now ... Read more »

‘We now have hope', ‘Time to get behind the team' – These Oldham Athletic fans react to major club announcement

© Provided by Football League World john sheridan For the fourth time in his long managerial career, John Sheridan has become the manager of Oldham Athletic after the club announced ... Read more »

Vicky Kaushal & Katrina Kaif share THIS one big interest & it's proof that ‘they are made for each other'

Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif are one of the cutest couples of Bollywood currently. The newlyweds have been taking social media by quite a storm with their lovey-dovey pictures. Be ... Read more »

Diana Penty to have a busy 2022, collaboration with Dharma Productions expected

© Provided by Mid-Day Diana Penty seems to have a jam packed calendar in 2022! The actress has her hands full with four back to back projects. While she makes ... Read more »

Tahir: As a romantic hero, thrilled that my acceptance is higher than Mardaani

© Provided by Mid-Day Tahir Raj Bhasin is over the moon because he has been unanimously accepted as a romantic hero because of his powerful acting in back-to-back two web ... Read more »

Hyderabad Traffic Police use 'Akhanda' scene to drive home message on seat belts

© IANS Hyderabad Traffic police use ‘Akhanda’ scene to drive home message on seat belts. Chennai, Jan 23 (IANS) The Hyderabad Traffic Police has used a scene from director Boyapati ... Read more »

WRC Monte Carlo: Loeb reclaims lead as Ogier suffers puncture on penultimate stage

The nine-time champion faced a 24.6s deficit heading into Stage 16 after Ogier extended his overnight 21.1s lead on Stage 15, but the M-Sport driver was handed a lifeline when ... Read more »

Germany to provide medical help to Ukraine – but no weapons

Germany plans to send a field medical facility to Ukraine next month but it continues to refuse the transfer of weapons despite fears of a Russian invasion. In February, “a ... Read more »

Camila Cabello visits adult shop after Shawn Mendes split

© IANS Camila Cabello Los Angeles, Jan 23 (IANS) Singer Camila Cabello was seen stepping into sex shop in Los Angeles,nearly three months after her break-up from longtime boyfriend and ... Read more »

IPL 2022: Five England Players Who Could Rake in Money at the Mega Auction

© Provided by News18 IPL 2022: Five England Players Who Could Rake in Money at the Mega Auction The IPL 2022 mega auction is less than a month away now, ... Read more »

Rangers boss labels Ibrox starlet 'one of the big talents' as he makes Feyenoord comparison

Rangers boss Giovanni Van Bronckhorst says Alex Lowry is one of the Ibrox club’s most promising talents. The teenager – who hails from Uddingston and attended Motherwell’s Braidhurst high school ... Read more »

Impoverished Afghan women are receiving emergency aid in crypto as the Taliban limits cash withdrawals and millions go hungry

© Fereshteh Forough Girls learn to code at the Code to Inspire school in Herat, Afghanistan. Fereshteh Forough Desperate Afghans are struggling to withdraw cash as the economy crumbles under ... Read more »

Man threatens staff with hammer during armed robbery in Malahide

© Shutterstock kavee29 File photo GARDAÍ HAVE ARRESTED two people following a robbery in Malahide last night. Shortly before 10pm yesterday a man entered a retail premises in Waterside, Malahide, ... Read more »

X Games: Mark McMorris breaks Shaun White record on quest for first Olympic gold

© Getty Images Canadian Mark McMorris won a record-breaking sixth Winter X Games snowboard slopestyle title, moving one ahead of Shaun White‘s tally, but there is still one gaping hole in his ... Read more »

Israeli ultra-Orthodox party leader resigns over graft

© GALI TIBBON Aryeh Deri, pictured here in 2015, served as Israeli ex-premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s interior minister The leader of Israel’s largest ultra-Orthodox Jewish party submitted his resignation from parliament ... Read more »

Israel becomes world leader in live donor kidney donations - WHO

© (photo credit: MCT) A model of human kidneys. In 2020, Israel was the country with the most living kidney donors worldwide, according to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report.  ... Read more »

Pekerja kilang sarung tangan mogok, dakwa rakan sekerja ‘dipukul pengawal'

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Pengawal keselamatan di kilang sarung tangan itu didakwa memukul seorang pekerja wanita warga Indonesia dan seorang pekerja lelaki warga Bangladesh. PETALING JAYA: Pekerja sebuah ... Read more »

Milwaukee's mask mandate now in effect until March 1

More than six months after Milwaukee’s mask mandate expired, the mandate is back because of the omicron surge. Read more »

Im Würgegriff der Tabaklobby – wieso es Werbeverbote in der Schweiz schwer haben

Die Initiative für ein Tabakwerbeverbot will der Zigaretten-PR in der Schweiz den Garaus machen. Eine Herkulesaufgabe, denn bis anhin scheiterten alle Versuche für mehr Prävention an einer übermächtigen und undurchsichtigen ... Read more »

Buccaneers vs. Rams: Preview, predictions, what to watch for

An inside look at Sunday’s Buccaneers-Rams NFC divisional matchup in Tampa, Fla.: Marquee matchup Jalen Ramsey vs. Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski Ramsey, who is comfortable in the slot, lined ... Read more »

Syria: Deadly fighting continues after 'Islamic State' prison break

© Provided by DW Kurdish security forces have deployed throughout al-Hasaka as fighting continues Fighting at a prison in the northern Syrian city of al-Hasaka entered a fourth day on ... Read more »

Rob Brydon admits he has been asked to do Masked Singer as he swerves claims he's Traffic Cone

FUNNYMAN Rob Brydon has refused to comment on speculation he could be Traffic Cone on the Masked Singer. The 56-year-old, who is known for being a great singer, did however ... Read more »

LTNs blamed for delays to thousands of fire engines London

There has been fury after low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) were blamed for delays to more than 3,000 fire engines out on emergency calls in London. Analysis of data from London Fire ... Read more »

Room Rents In London Are At Their Lowest In 7 Years

We all know that living in London is incredibly expensive, but according to new figures, room rents in the capital are at their lowest in seven years. According to SpareRoom, ... Read more »

The shrimp returns: beloved flamenco singer Camarón stars in graphic novel

In death, as in life, the legendary flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla continues to confound expectations, cross borders and demand that his blistered and blistering voice be heard. The ... Read more »

The week in theatre: Moulin Rouge! The Musical; Conundrum – review

There isn’t any trouble at the mill. At least as far as Alex Timbers’s production of Moulin Rouge! The Musical goes. Picture-book belle époque Paris takes over the Piccadilly: swags ... Read more »

Everton star Danielle Turner opens up on overcoming 'unusual and bizarre' injury trouble

If I’m being totally honest, last year was a difficult one for me. It was an injury, but it didn’t feel like an injury. One day I was absolutely fine, ... Read more »

'Jabs for Kebabs': Brothers offer vaccines at grill after father hospitalised

© PA ‘Jabs for Kebabs’: Brothers offer vaccines at grill after father hospitalised Two brothers in Gravesend who own a Punjabi restaurant have been offering jabs with kebabs after their ... Read more »

Bournemouth make transfer approach for Peterborough man amid Celtic, Rangers and Fulham interest

© Provided by Football League World Championship – Peterborough United v AFC Bournemouth Championship promotion chasers AFC Bournemouth have had multiple offers rejected for Peterborough United attacker Siriki Dembele, according ... Read more »

Amalgam Is Auctioning Off Its Hidden Treasures

© Motor1.com Amalgam Hidden Projects Model Car Auction At Catawiki Most of them never went on sale. Amalgam is known for making model cars that come with exquisite details. Its ... Read more »

CII for additional 1 pc CSR levy in Budget to provide Covid vaccine booster shots

© Provided by The Financial Express The chamber said it expects Budget 2022-23 to focus on measures for strengthening economic recovery. Industry body CII has suggested the government include an ... Read more »

Malaysia former PM Mahathir still in hospital, says his daughter

© Reuters/HUSSAIN HASNOOR A general view of the National Heart Institute at Kuala Lumpur KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -Malaysia former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, 96, is still being treated in hospital ... Read more »

Italy's Berlusconi hospitalised in Milan - source

© Reuters/FLAVIO LO SCALZO FILE PHOTO: Italy’s former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, reacts after casting his vote during Italian elections for mayors and councillors MILAN (Reuters) – Former Italian Prime ... Read more »

Dr M masih di IJN, keluarga pinta jangan dengar khabar angin

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Marina berharap orang ramai tidak mengendahkan khabar angin disebarkan oleh sumber tidak sahih mengenai kesihatan bapanya, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. PETALING JAYA: Orang ramai diminta ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic