Hibernian head coach Nick Montgomery hailed Elie Youan for his reaction to a half-time warning after the winger netted two goals in 83 seconds to earn his side an Edinburgh derby point against Hearts at Tynecastle.
Montgomery was unhappy with his side’s first-half efforts as they trailed to Alan Forrest’s spectacular strike before Christian Doidge’s 58th-minute own goal put Hearts two ahead.
But Youan struck twice in quick succession midway through the second half after combining with Dylan Vente and both teams collected a cinch Premiership point after a thrilling finale.
Montgomery said: “Elie’s a fantastic player, he could play at the highest level no doubt, but he needs to be more consistent and he knows that.
“I told him at half-time we needed more from him because he’s a player that can win you a game of football.
“There were too many who weren’t good enough in the first half and Elie was definitely one of them but when I asked him to step up he certainly did.
“He gets two goals and we need that from him for 90 minutes, not for 45. If only the game was 45 minutes he would probably be playing in the Champions League.
“But that’s something Elie has to fix, he’s a young player with bags of ability. That’s normal, sometimes it takes young players a couple of years to get that consistency but there’s no doubting his ability. He is a fantastic player and a good lad and second half he reacted really well.”
Montgomery labelled the 2-2 draw “definitely a good outcome in the end”.
“They were a lot better than us in the first half and I thought second half we were the better team,” he said.
“I’m very disappointed in the first half and the way we played and I told the boys at half-time it wasn’t good enough.
“We talked about the emotion of the game during the week and a few too many got caught up with the emotion and they dealt with it better.
“I told them second half they had to go out there and fix it and they did.”
Hearts head coach Steven Naismith bemoaned the 90-second spell which cost his team what he felt would have been a deserved win.
“We put so much into the game and for large parts it was a really good performance,” he said.
“We carried a threat, the chances we had were really good, scored two good goals, and the biggest disappointment is we have given up two goals in the space of a minute-and-a-half that has ultimately cost us three points in what would have been a very good performance.
“I think over time we will look at the performance and be positive but decision-making when it goes 2-1, you can question, and ultimately our defending has cost us.”
Naismith felt the impressive Alex Lowry was tiring as he explained his decision to take the midfielder off in the 62nd minute and replace him with the more defensive-minded Beni Baningime.
Naismith added: “The game was getting a bit more stretched, we weren’t keeping the ball when we should be, because they were committing more bodies forward and it started getting end to end. We didn’t want to lose control of it.
“But ultimately it’s a minute-and-a-half of poor decision-making and defending that has cost us.”