Hearts hope to sign another goalkeeper

Players rush to congratulate Sam Nicholson after his superb strike gave Hearts the lead in their 2-1 triumph over Hibs. Pic: Greg Macvean
Players rush to congratulate Sam Nicholson after his superb strike gave Hearts the lead in their 2-1 triumph over Hibs. Pic: Greg Macvean
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Hearts hope to sign yet another goalkeeper before Wednesday’s Petrofac Training Cup tie with Livingston, the Evening News can reveal.

Jack Hamilton started yesterday’s derby win over Hibs, but is cup-tied having played for Stenhousemuir on loan earlier in the tournament. That leaves Lee Hollis, who joined Hearts on Friday, as the club’s only fit keeper.

Head coach Robbie Neilson was today working on an emergency contingency plan to provide cover. He was reluctant to reveal names of the goalkeepers he has in mind, but intends to move quickly. Neil Alexander and Scott Gallacher, who arrived at Tynecastle during the summer as first and second-choice respectively, are both injured. Hamilton was recalled from his loan at Ochilview last week and Hollis arrived on Friday, but Neilson admitted he now needs another keeper for Wednesday.

“Lee will be here and we’ve got a couple of guys lined up who could possibly come in to help us out short-term. We’ll take a look at it and see what we do,” he said.

Dale Carrick also missed yesterday’s game through injury. “Dale has a problem with his thigh, although I don’t think he’ll be out for too long,” said Neilson. “It’s not the main muscle in the thigh, it’s the lateral side. It should hopefully heal up pretty soon. He won’t make Livingston. They’re talking about maybe two or three weeks, but we’re hoping he will be back sooner than that.”

Hearts will also be without striker Osman Sow against Livingston and almost certainly against Raith Rovers in the league on Saturday.

The Swede was red carded for elbowing Hibs’ Michael Nelson yesterday and is expected to be banned for two matches for violent conduct.

Hamilton made his competitive debut yesterday and performed well despite conceding a first-half penalty which Hibs captain Liam Craig missed.

“I thought Jack did really well and I didn’t have any doubts about putting him in,” said Neilson. “I worked with him last year and he’s really well respected in the dressing room.

“That tells you a lot about a player. If they’ve got good ability and something about them then their team-mates respect them.

“Our players respect Jack because he’s got all the attributes to play at a high level.

“I thought he handled everything well. I don’t think he did a lot wrong at the penalty, but we’ll see.”