The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Cochrane can perform at the top level, insists boss Petrie
Montrose manager Stewart Petrie insists loan star Harry Cochrane has the quality to shine in the top flight.
Cochrane, 19, will leave Hearts at the end of the season after turning down a new contract from the Tynecastle outfit but turned in a fine performance in Saturday’s Scottish Cup defeat at Rugby Park.
First-half goals from Kyle Lafferty and Chris Burke put Tommy Wright’s charges in a comfortable position and Greg Kiltie added to their lead after the interval.
Montrose carried a threat throughout the game and got a goal which their play deserved when Cammy Ballantyne scored with just eight minutes remaining.
Petrie is convinced the future is still bright for teenager Cochrane, who became Hearts’ youngest ever scorer when he netted in a 4-0 win over Celtic at the age of 16.
Petrie said: “I don’t think there’s any doubt Harry can play top-flight football.
“He’s been out over a month but gave us a great level of energy and ability on the ball. There’s no doubt in my mind that he can play top full-time football.”
Tommy Wright insists his focus is on Premiership survival despite guiding his side to the quarter-finals.
Wright won the Scottish Cup with St Johnstone in 2014 and his next assignment in the competition will be a last-eight encounter with St Mirren.
Before they take on Jim Goodwin’s side for a place in the semi-finals, Kilmarnock are in league action against Dundee United on Wednesday.
The Rugby Park outfit currently occupy the relegation play-off position, two points ahead of bottom
club Hamilton and one behind Ross County, with just four games remaining.
Wright insists keeping Kilmarnock in the top flight is his main priority.
He said: “The important thing now is the focus goes to the league games.
“But, of course, a cup run is important. You want to do well in it.
“St Johnstone have proved again this year and Ross County and Inverness have proved in recent years, the cups provide socalled smaller clubs with the best opportunity of success.
“So it is important.”