Driver: I’m still happy to play for Hearts

Paulo Sergio, right, watches from the stand as Hearts defeat Dunfermline 4-0. Andy Driver, not pictured, says he still happy to play  for Hearts
Paulo Sergio, right, watches from the stand as Hearts defeat Dunfermline 4-0. Andy Driver, not pictured, says he still happy to play for Hearts
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ANDY DRIVER will hand Hearts his written transfer request tomorrow but will stress to the club that he is available for selection in the meantime and has not refused to play.

Despite a fallout with manager Paulo Sergio, Driver is keen to continue playing for the Edinburgh club until he can secure a move. He intended to submit a formal transfer request today but that has been put back 24 hours since the Hearts players were given an unexpected day off.

Driver will cite irreparable differences with Sergio as the main reason for asking to leave. He has been used sparingly this season by the Portuguese and is frustrated by the lack of game time.

However, the winger wishes to distance himself from comments attributed to his agent, Scott Fisher, which stated he refused to play for Hearts whilst Sergio is manager. Driver and Sergio have had their differences but the player will tell club officials tomorrow that he will play whenever asked.

Sergio removed the 24-year-old from the squad for Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Dunfermline after confronting him about his agent’s comments. The manager later conveyed his anger at the situation to the club website.

“I never had a problem with Andrew,” he said. “But when he is saying that he doesn’t want to play for Hearts while I’m the manager, that is something I have to take care of.

“I asked Driver to confirm if the story was true and he confirmed it. He doesn’t want to play. I then told him to leave the meeting. I don’t believe we have any one player who makes all the difference like Messi or Ronaldo.”

Driver’s Hearts contract runs until June 2013.

Meanwhile, the subject of delayed player wages at Hearts was set to be high on the agenda at today’s Scottish Premier League board meeting after a formal complaint was submitted over the matter.

The Hearts first-team squad and PFA Scotland on Friday delivered a letter of complaint to the SPL after the players’ December salaries failed to arrive on schedule for the third successive month.

The Hearts players on Thursday signed a letter of permission allowing PFA Scotland to represent them in their battle to recover their owed monies after growing tired of the on-going uncertainty at the beleaguered club.

Wages are due on the 16th of each month, but the first delay saw their October salary received on November 4.

On that occasion, the intervention of manager Paulo Sergio stalled a complaint and 24 hours later payment was made.

Earlier this month, the players received a £1000 part-payment from funds generated from the loss to St Johnstone at Tynecastle and, on Thursday, the November salaries were paid in full – 29 days late.

However, there was no sign of further payment on Friday and PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart made formal the players’ displeasure by delivering a letter of complaint to the SPL’s Hampden Park offices.

The move had the full backing of the dressing room.