Darren Barr eager to hold place in Hearts squad

Darren Barr
Darren Barr
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DARREN BARR is eager to retain his place for Hearts’ visit to Inverness this weekend and admits he will happily play anywhere to stay in the starting line-up.

The defender played in an unfamiliar left-back role during last Saturday’s 5-2 win over St Mirren and he is willing to operate in whichever position manager Paulo Sergio requires him.

After two hernia operations last year, Barr is relieved to be fit and able to play again in a Hearts team which has won five and drawn one of the last six matches and climbed to third place in the Scottish Premier League.

The 26-year-old was utilised at right-back with former club Falkirk but, he insisted, positional changes do not faze him.

“I’m just happy to be in about it again. More than anything, I’m just happy I’m part of the squad and training. Injury hampered me but I feel better for it now,” he said. “I’ve played full-back a few times and I’ll play anywhere. It’s one of those ones where I’m just happy to get a game. If needed, I’m there to be picked.

“The boys have done really well this season – I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

Barr has played in four of Hearts’ last six games, managing to overcome a nasty head injury sustained during the Scottish Cup 1-0 fourth-round victory over Auchinleck.

“It was horrible. I don’t think I actually knew where I was,” he told the club website. “I’m just happy we won the game. We did well to win because I remember their keeper was quality.”

Barr has a strong chance of starting the match in Inverness with captain Marius Zaliukas suspended. He was red carded for denying St Mirren’s Paul McGowan a clear goalscoring opportunity last weekend.

David Templeton and Ryan McGowan are expected to be reinstated after injury and suspension respectively. John Sutton, a goalscorer against St Mirren, is also eager to remain involved.

“It’s always good to play, especially at Tynecastle where you get such good backing from the fans. Hopefully I can keep my place for a very big game against Inverness at the weekend,” he said.

“We’re third in the SPL and determined to stay there. We want to keep the winning run going. We have put together some good form but it’s no use stopping now – we need to push on.”