Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford has hailed his side after their first league victory over Hearts in 16 years took them to the top of the Championship table.
He reserved special praise for goalscorers Dom Thomas and Euan Murray as the Pars downed title favourites the Jambos 2-1 at East End Park last night despite a late header from Stephen Kingsley.
Skipper Murray’s effort was his sixth of the season in all competitions, an impressive feat for a centre-back in just nine games, while Thomas has been racking up the assists.
“It was great for Dom getting his first goal of the season. He’s been magnificent in terms of assists so it’s very pleasing,” Crawford said.
“That combination again from Dom and Euan Murray to get the second goal is brilliant at a time when you’re thinking Hearts are going to look to get back into the game.
“It was very encouraging.
“What the players showed was a respect and a belief in themselves and that’s important to me.
“Hearts are a very good side and they’ve got a very strong squad so it was going to be a marker for us in terms of where we are.
“We’ve got players now where there’s a lot of development in them so that’s very pleasing with where we’re at as a club at the moment.”
Celtic loanee Kerr McInroy enjoyed a terrific evening in the middle of the park, with Crawford pleased with the 20-year-old’s display.
He continued: “Kerr was a player I seen a good few years ago in a reserve game and I think he’s got a cultured left foot and, physically, he’s not frightened of the game at this level as well.
“He’s very good on the ball in terms of his weight of pass and vision but I don’t to single Kerr out because I thought Declan (McManus) and Kyle (Turner) led the line magnificently.
“They set the tone for the rest of the team.”
Crawford was quick to talk down their own title credentials, insisting the men from Gorgie remain in the driving seat.
He added: “Hearts are still favourites for the league and that’s not taking anything away from us as a team.
“The Championship can be a very unforgiving league and within a couple of games you can find yourself at the other end of the table.
“We’ve learned that from experience so we’ll enjoy our weekend.”
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Jambos gaffer Robbie Neilson insists Dunfermline were full value for the win but that his side should’ve made more of their chances.
He said: “We’re disappointed not to win the game but you’ve got the give credit to Dunfermline, they played well.
“We had three or four good chances, hit the bar twice and were one-on-one with the keeper but we didn’t take them.
“We’re disappointed not to take anything from the game but it’s part and parcel of football. If you’re going to win a league, you’re going to lose games.
“We had a fantastic start to the season, winning eight games on the bounce, so it’s how we react to it now.”