Danny Swanson urged to fight for Hearts place

Danny Swanson hasn't featured in Hearts' last two matchday squads
Danny Swanson hasn't featured in Hearts' last two matchday squads
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DANNY SWANSON’S Hearts future is in his own hands as he decides whether to stick or twist during the January transfer window.

The midfielder wants to play more games but was left out of the first-team squad for the last two matches against Kilmarnock and Aberdeen.

Head coach Robbie Neilson told the Evening News that Swanson remains part of the group but must stay patient in his quest for game time. Swanson, 29, has stressed his desire to be more involved with his contract due to expire at the end of the season.

His long-term future remains uncertain after he joined Hearts last September on a deal until the summer. He has made nine appearances so far, although failing to make the substitutes’ bench for the last two weeks may prompt the player to look elsewhere.

St Johnstone are monitoring the situation and would be interested in taking Swanson back to Perth should he become available. He spent four months on loan at McDiarmid Park from Coventry City last season.

“Danny is still a big part of the squad and will still play games,” said Neilson. “Yes, he’s disappointed not to be involved but all the players have times like that. It’s just getting through it. Morgaro Gomis had a period six weeks ago when he wasn’t getting a game and he was champing at the bit to get in. Then it was Miguel Pallardo who was desperate for a chance.

“Everyone goes through that cycle. We’ve got good players here who want to play and it’s about picking a team that I think is going to get a result. Nobody is happy at not playing. There’s nothing worse than having a player who is delighted when he’s not playing. It shows no desire. Danny wants to play but he understands there are good players here as well. He just has to wait his time and, when he gets his chance, he has to come in and do well.

“I’ve just felt that, with the options we had, I needed Dario Zanatta on the bench. It was between him and Swanson. I felt Zanatta, possibly as a striker, gives us the option of playing as a No.9, a No.10 or playing out wide so I thought it was the right thing for us.”