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Josh Ginnelly praises John Souttar for attitude and performance against Saints

St Mirren v Heat of Midlothian – cinch Premiership – The SMiSA Stadium
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Josh Ginnelly believes Rangers-bound defender John Souttar showed how professional he is by bossing his Hearts team-mates through Tuesday’s victory over St Johnstone.

The 25-year-old Scotland defender confirmed a pre-contract agreement with the Ibrox club last Friday – a move that angered many Jambos supporters.

Souttar had his every touch jeered by a section of home fans in the 2-0 win over Saints at Tynecastle, but two-goal hero Ginnelly believes the way he performed showed Hearts can have no worries about him downing tools in the lead-up to his move along the M8.

The attacker said: “He was brilliant and it speaks volumes for John. He got out there and he was the loudest man on the pitch, as per usual.

“You have to give him his credit. Of course something has happened with him but we are just so happy he is here. He’s massive for us so a huge well done to him.

“Not many people can go out there and perform the way he did (in such a situation) so massive credit to him.”

Ginnelly is adamant there is no resentment from the rest of the squad over Souttar’s decision to sign a pre-contract with Rangers. He insists all the players are simply delighted to see him prospering again after he returned to action last April following his third ruptured Achilles.

“This type of thing happens in football and I think what we should talk about is that he has gone out there and put in that performance and helped us to a clean sheet,” Ginnelly said. “It just speaks volumes about him.

“We are a tight-knit group in the dressing room anyway and John is one of the main players. We love him and I am happy for him at the same time.

“I’ve seen first hand what he had to go through. He’s been unfortunate with the injuries he’s had but in terms of the mental side, I know for a fact that if I had been through what he’d been through I wouldn’t be here (still playing) today.

“Massive credit to him, he’s just a top guy and a brilliant football player.

“Fans are allowed to show frustration and we all understand that and that’s the way football is now. But not many people can walk out on a pitch in front of 20,000 fans (in that situation) and play the way John did.

Ginnelly had words of praise for another team-mate after on-form winger Barrie McKay set up both his goals with excellent passes.

He said: “No-one has really seen anything from Baz yet. That’s how good he is. He’s a massive player. He’s a brilliant player and he turned it on against St Johnstone. Honestly, Baz can do anything with the ball. He’s going to be massive for us.”

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