CRAIG GORDON stressed today that Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald will overcome the disappointment of losing five goals to Celtic and play a major role in Saturday’s Scottish Cup final against Hibs.
The former Tynecastle keeper, approaching the end of his contract at Sunderland, spoke with MacDonald immediately after Sunday’s defeat. He said MacDonald was hurt after conceding five times to Gary Hooper but backed his former understudy to respond positively to criticism.
Hearts will start with MacDonald in goal for the all- Edinburgh William Hill Scottish Cup final and Gordon insisted the 26-year-old is as reliable as any goalkeeper under pressure. “It’s not ideal losing five goals the week before a final. I spoke to Jamie on Sunday night and he’s hurting from that,” Gordon told the Evening News.
“But I think the Hearts team will change a bit from the one that played against Celtic. What happened will go out the window. The final is about who wants it most. Jamie will have forgotten about the defeat at Celtic and he’ll be totally focused on Saturday. Sunday’s game is pretty irrelevant, it was as meaningless a game as you could get. Losing those goals might fire him up. It might be a little kick up the backside Hearts needed, but then again I don’t think you need that going into an Edinburgh derby cup final. I know they’ve taken a bit of a beating losing five goals but it’s finished with now and Jamie knows what lies ahead.
“He’s got good experience of the Scottish Cup and he always seems to do well. He got to the final with Queen of the South in 2008. I still speak to Jamie on a regular basis and we speak on the phone most weeks. He is very calm and I’m sure he’ll be absolutely fine. I know Jamie, he will handle this.”