Hearts facing cup final without Craig Beattie

Craig Beattie

Craig Beattie

8
Have your say

HEARTS striker Craig Beattie is rated doubtful for Saturday’s Scottish Cup final with Hibs after his recovery from a hamstring injury stalled in the last 48 hours.

The 28-year-old trained last week and looked to be progressing well but did not manage to feature in yesterday’s 5-0 defeat by Celtic at Parkhead on the final day of the SPL season.

Paulo Sergio, the Hearts manager, admitted that Beattie was unable to train over the weekend and is now causing team management concern ahead of the Hampden Park showpiece.

Asked if Beattie would be available to face Hibs, Sergio replied: “I don’t know. He didn’t work in the last two days, so he’s a doubt.”

Beattie strained his hamstring against Dundee United at Tannadice last month and has not played since. Hearts are eager to include him in their cup final squad and will monitor him closely this week to see whether he can at least take a seat on the substitutes’ bench on Saturday.

Sergio delivered more encouraging news on central defender Andy Webster, who is harbouring a minor groin complaint. He was substituted near the end of yesterday’s encounter but his participation in the final is not in doubt.

“Andy made a great effort because he had some complaints with his groin. Nothing happened yesterday and I’m happy with that,” said Sergio. “I’m happy with him too because he put all his effort into the team, even with a small problem in his groin.

“He handled 80 minutes and he didn’t ask me to come off. It was me who thought that was enough. He gave everything on the pitch.”

Despite the heavy defeat, Hearts still finished fifth in the SPL to reach the qualifying phase of next season’s Europa League.

They are due to play in the second qualifying of four qualifying rounds, the first leg of which takes place on July 19.

However, should they beat Hibs to lift the cup, they would secure a place in the final qualifying round and with it the luxury of not starting their European campaign until August 23.