JOHN McGLYNN revealed today that he already knows the starting XI he will select for Hearts’ opening SPL match with St Johnstone.
The new manager will make his home debut at Tynecastle on Saturday following the weekend friendly win over Rotherham United, which he described as a good test and a worthwhile exercise.
The Hearts players are ready for the challenge, according to McGlynn, having won three of their four pre-season matches. John Sutton scored the winner in the 1-0 win in South Yorkshire and most of those who played will remain in the team for this weekend’s SPL kick-off.
“I’ve got a starting eleven in my mind. I know ten out of the eleven for definite,” said McGlynn. “If we can get everyone through training this week without picking up any injuries, I’ll be delighted. That’s what I’m looking for.
“Danny Grainger is suspended for Saturday. If everyone else can get through training this week, we’ll be all set to go. Gordon Smith we left at home to do some more training rather than come down and play for maybe 20 minutes. Gordon is ready to come back in and stake a claim for a jersey. We hope to get a bounce game for him to play in this week, likewise a few others.”
Smith offers the most experienced back-up to Sutton, who McGlynn admitted will play a key part this season after three goals from his four pre-season outings. The manager was also delighted to see Hearts keep a second successive clean sheet against Rotherham.
“Rotherham had won all their pre-season games, they are on the up and they have a magnificent stadium with a magnificent surface,” he continued. “We knew we would get a test and it certainly was a test.
“We were happy to go there and get a clean sheet. I thought our two centre-backs were excellent and they didn’t get too many chances. We were delighted to get the goal. I thought we controlled it for long spells and it was a good workout.”