HEARTS boss John McGlynn today explained how Callum Paterson has made himself impossible to drop following the teenager’s two-goal performance against Dundee United. As he prepares to name a strong team against Livingston in tomorrow’s League Cup third round tie, McGlynn admitted Paterson is currently a first pick after only eight senior appearances.
The 17-year-old scored his first competitive goals in Hearts’ 3-0 victory at Tannadice on Saturday to compound an excellent start to the season. He was promoted from the club’s youth academy upon McGlynn’s appointment as manager and has responded with a string of commanding performances in different positions.
McGlynn has no intention of resting him tomorrow night when Livingston make the short journey to Tynecastle. Even if the manager was considering making changes, he said he couldn’t possibly leave Paterson out.
“We need to suss out when is the right time to do that. I don’t see it being at this minute in time because he’s doing too well to be left out,” McGlynn told the Evening News. “If players are playing well I think you must leave them to get on with it. When you see a dip in form, then you take them out. There are no signs of that dip with Callum.
“He’s played every pre-season friendly and every SPL game. He is full of enthusiasm and will have taken a lot of confidence from the goals. Every player has that option to make sure they play every week by going and doing the business. That young lad has done the business and so he picks himself.”
McGlynn acknowledged that Paterson’s vibrancy brings a different dimension to the Hearts forward line after previously deploying him at right-back and in midfield. “It is the energy level and enthusiasm that he’s got which one or two others don’t have,” continued the manager. “He causes problems for defenders with his running into channels, with the way he can hold the ball up and compete in the air.
“He’s only 17 and he’s only going to get stronger. In the short term, he has solved a problem for us. In the longer term, he may turn into something very good. It’s a matter of keeping Callum’s feet on the ground, making sure he continues to develop and doesn’t get carried away. It’s too easy to put him on a big platform. I think we’ve got to try and go gradually with him.”