HEARTS’ midweek hero Josh Ginnelly praised two of his team-mates after the game – one for his ability under pressure from the opposition defence, the other for the pressure applied to him by his own supporters.

Although it was Ginnelly who netted a brace in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over St Johnstone at Tynecastle, it was Barrie McKay who stole the show with two assists and numerous other chances created. There was also special praise for “world-class” John Souttar, who stood steadfast and composed each time he was in possession, despite the boos from the steep Tynecastle stands engulfing him – even to the point where they cheered when he was fouled.

The defender signed a pre-contract with Rangers in the days leading up to the match. Ginnelly, who netted his second and third goals of the season – with the other also coming against St Johnstone in a 1-1 draw earlier in the season – praised the Scotland international’s ability to block out the boos and put in an assured performance.

READ MORE: Hearts 2 St Johnstone 0: Josh Ginnelly scores twice as John Souttar is booed by own support

“It speaks volumes of John. He’s gone out there today and was the loudest man on the pitch, as per usual,” said the 24-year-old. “He’s just a world-class player. Not many people can go out there and perform the way he did tonight.

“[Signing a pre-contract] happens in football and I think what we should talk about is the fact that he’s gone out there tonight, put that performance on, clean sheet, it speaks volumes.

“He’s got everything to his game. He’s been quite unfortunate with the injuries. But in terms of the mental side, I know for a fact if I had been through what he’d been through I would not be here today.”

The winger found himself in an unfamiliar striker role, one he has taken up a few times this season, most effectively in November’s 5-2 victory over Dundee United. On Tuesday was battered about a bit in the first half but had joy peeling to the right than working through the centre. It didn’t help either that a number of long balls were shelled to him.

The National:

“Obviously it is tough because of my build and playing against 6ft 5in meatheads,” he joked. “If we can’t really get the ball in behind and they sit in, like they did in the first half a bit, it’s tough for me to receive with my back to goal.

“That’s not my game but if it’s something the gaffer needs me to do, I’m more than happy to do it.”

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson described the tactical switch at half-time to move Ginnelly to the right. From there he instantly opened the scoring before settling the game with a quarter of an hour to play.

Despite his double the best player on the night was his forward partner Barrie McKay. The 27-year-old was on sparkling form, setting up the two goals and several other chances that his side spurned.

"Honestly nobody has really seen anything from Baz yet,” said Ginnelly. “That's how good he is. I'll get the headlines but I'll give them all to him. A brilliant player and he turned it on tonight.”