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Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth MATT McGEEHAN auth-> William Collum
[J Sutton 54] ;[T Hateley 59] ;[J Sutton 88]
6 of 010 Craig Thomson pen 25 ;Rudi Skacel 36 ;Ryan Stevenson 53L SPL H

John Sutton looks no further than Fir Park for now as double stalls Hearts

Published Date: 25 April 2011
John Sutton brushed aside talk of a possible move to Hearts after showing them just what he's capable of with two goals that further stalled the Tynecastle side's once stately progress towards third place.
With just one win in eight games, Jim Jefferies have been unable to shake off the dogged pursuit of fourth-placed Dundee United and were left hugely frustrated by Sutton's contribution on Saturday as Motherwell clawed back a three-goal deficit.

While Jefferies, among others, has been linked with a summer swoop for the out-of-contract Sutton, the striker said his focus remains on helping Motherwell climb the league table and win the Scottish Cup.

He said: "We'd like to finish fifth, if not fourth, and then it's one of the biggest games in the club's history (the Scottish Cup final) after that. That's everyone's objective at the moment."

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall said after the match that Sutton had been offered "the best deal we can offer" on Friday and reiterated his belief that job satisfaction is all-important.

And after taking his tally to 17 goals this season, Sutton agreed he is enjoying the best spell of his career and remains very happy at Fir Park.

He added: "I've enjoyed playing under the new manager. He's played me where I feel I'm more effective, through the middle, and I think we've got something good going at the club.

"As a striker you're always reliant on the service and the service was great today. It was a great ball in by Steve Jones and then an even better one by Gavin Gunning I managed to get on the end of. If you get deliveries like that it certainly makes your job a lot easier."

After Craig Thomson, with a penalty, Rudi Skacel and Ryan Stevenson had Hearts 3-0 up with 53 minutes played, any doubts about their ability to stay the course in their pursuit of third spot appeared to have evaporated.

However, Sutton headed in from Jones' cross two minutes after Stevenson's strike and after 60 minutes Tom Hateley's free-kick evaded everyone to go in. Sutton capped the comeback by stooping to head in Gunning's left-wing cross and earn a deserved draw.

Sutton said he and his team-mates were always confident they could take something from the game, even at 3-0 down.

He said: "We're probably the most inconsistent team in the SPL, you never really know what to expect from us.

Three-nil down is not a good position but I never thought we were out of it.

"We were 6-2 down with 20 minutes to go last year (against Hibs), so this was relatively easy by comparison."

With Dundee United having won earlier in the day, Hearts' lead over the Tannadice men was cut to seven points, and Thomson, whose 26th-minute penalty was his first goal for Hearts, is hoping they can clinch third spot before travelling to face United on the final day of the season.

Thomson said: "Hopefully we can still wrap it up before that. I think it would be pretty nerve-racking to play on that day if we don't.

"We're just trying to get as many points as we can and get third place wrapped up as quickly as we can."

Hearts' only win in their last eight games came at St Mirren, but Thomson says they have lost their focus despite once holding a seemingly unassailable 15-point lead.

He added: "In a few of the games we've been unlucky not to get a result. We've just got to keep plugging away and try and get to the end of the season in third place.

"Dundee United have been different class in pulling out wins, but we're still hopeful we can finish above them come the end of the season."

Taken from the Scotsman

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