JOHN McGLYNN believes Michael Ngoo can be Hearts’ surprise package in this afternoon’s Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final as he prepares to hand the on-loan Liverpool striker a debut against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
The 20-year-old finalised a six-month move to Tynecastle yesterday and goes straight into Hearts’ squad for what is arguably the biggest game of their season. McGlynn stressed Ngoo should not be placed under undue pressure to produce instant results, although the striker is expected to lead the attack today.
“He’ll definitely be in the squad. He could be something that Inverness hasn’t bargained for. He could be a surprise package,” said McGlynn of the 6ft 4in forward.
“We’re pleased to get Michael in. He’s going to give us a few different options. He’s come from a big football club. Liverpool signed him from Southend and paid a bit of money for him so they have high hopes for him. He’ll join us from now until the end of the season and hopefully make an impact.” After signing centre-back Danny Wilson on loan from Liverpool last week, McGlynn instantly made recruiting a new forward his next aim. “It was the priority position for us,” he told the Hearts website. “I said last week that when there’s a player like Danny Wilson, you can never have enough good players about. You take good players any time. It probably helped that Danny is now here as he obviously knows the lad, he spoke to Michael and gave good him a good report on the football club.
“He’s very similar to Danny in that he’s been playing regularly. The English under-21 teams didn’t have much of a break over Christmas and New Year so he’s been playing and he’s match-fit and raring to go. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, it’s not fair to think that he’s going to batter every ball that comes into the box into the back of the net. However, we hope that he’s going to improve our goalscoring tally.”
Ngoo declared himself “ready to go” this afternoon against Inverness and stressed he will do his best to repay McGlynn’s faith. “I’m just delighted to be here and I’m ready to go,” he said.
“I’m delighted he (McGlynn) thinks highly of me and he thinks I could help the team straight away. I’m just going to repay him, give him my all and give the fans my all as well. I’m very strong, aggressive and I like running in behind. I’ll be a threat up front. I want to show everyone what I can do.
Ngoo explained that he consulted Wilson before agreeing to join Hearts. “I had a few loan offers in England but I spoke to Danny and he said the level was very good. The club is big and they’ve played against Liverpool. It was a no-brainer for me agreeing to come here.”
Meanwhile, Hearts will not renew Danny Grainger’s contract at the end of the season and the full-back is now destined to leave Tynecastle as a free agent.
Grainger is currently recovering from a cruciate ligament injury and will not be fit until next season. The player’s agent, Tom Callaghan, said: “Danny was told earlier this week that he would not be offered a new deal at the end of the season. Naturally, he was very disappointed, especially given his current injury. He does, however, hope that the club will allow him to continue his rehab beyond the end of May.”