Football - Carrick: Treble boosted confidence

Dale Carrick has revealed how a long-awaited hat-trick at Tynecastle at the weekend gave him the confidence to fire Hearts into the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

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Football - Carrick: Treble boosted confidence
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Dale Carrick held his nerve to score the winning penalty in a shootout

The 19-year-old ended his goal drought when he featured in a Scottish Youth Cup tie against Edinburgh rivals Spartans on Sunday and helped himself to three goals as the young Jambos romped to a 6-1 win.

Three days later at the same venue, the forward had a starring role to play for the senior team when he kept his nerve to net the winning penalty in a tense shootout to progress past Queen of the South in what proved to be an epic third-round tie.

Carrick told HeartsTV: "It gave me a lot of confidence scoring three goals.

"It's a while since I've actually scored any goals. It was great to get the three goals and it was great to come on and score the penalty."

Hearts finally came out on top 4-2 on penalties, having been pegged back three times over the course of 90 minutes and extra time.

Kevin McHattie's opener was cancelled out by Ryan McGuffie, before Jamie Hamill restored the lead and Michael Paton forced the tie into extra time.

Skipper Danny Wilson must have thought he had grabbed the winner just two minutes later but Chris Higgins struck as Queens hit back for a third time with penalties looming.

Carrick eventually netted the winning goal in the shootout to ensure Hearts' name would be in the hat for the quarter-final draw.

He said: "It was good to score the goal and it was unbelievable to do it front of all the fans.

"I was told to go on and to try to make something happen.

"To finally put the ball in the back of the net was unbelievable. That's what I was aiming to do."

The young forward has now targeted more goals in a bid to push Hearts up the table after starting the campaign with a 15-point deduction for suffering an insolvency event.

He said: "I just want to keep the momentum going and to keep getting goals for the team and hopefully push us up the table more and get some points."

Meanwhile, Hearts great John Robertson has agreed to remain at the club in a coaching capacity at least until the end of January.

The Jambos' record goalscorer volunteered his services to the administration-hit club in the summer.

He told the Hearts website: "I initially offered my services to help the club through what was a very difficult period.

"I want to do what I can to help Heart of Midlothian Football Club and have agreed to keep coaching here until the end of January.

"I'm really enjoying it and hopefully the players are benefiting from it as well.

"We will hopefully be in a position to further assess things come the end of January."

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