RYAN McGOWAN today hailed the impact Callum Paterson has made on the Hearts first team – but admitted he’s hoping to keep the youngster out of the right-back slot for the rest of the season.
The 17-year-old, called up to the Scotland Under-19 squad last night for next month’s international against the Netherlands, has featured in every single game since John McGlynn’s arrival at Tynecastle.
And he is expected to feature again tomorrow night when Hearts take on Liverpool in the second leg of their Europa League play-off at Anfield.
But while Paterson started the season at right-back and McGowan was pushed forward into midfield as a result, their roles have been reversed in recent games.
McGowan freely admits that he is most comfortable at the back and would love to continue in that position for the remainder of the campaign.
“At the end of the day though, I am just glad that the manager is selecting me and that I am out on the field playing football every week,” he said.
“Callum has done really well since he has come into the team. He is still only 17, although when you look at him, his build and the way he plays, you wouldn’t think that he was that young.
“He is a good player, he has got a lot of good attributes. He is strong, fast, good in the air. He is also good with the ball at his feet and I am sure that he will handle the occasion at Anfield well.
“He was unfortunate not to score against them last week so I am sure he will want a similar performance again this time around. We have got a lot of good young players coming through.”