Miguel Pallardo told to be patient by Hearts boss

Miguel Pallardo played against Dumbarton - one of two substitute appearances for the club
Miguel Pallardo played against Dumbarton - one of two substitute appearances for the club
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Having improved his fitness levels in recent weeks, the Spanish midfielder Miguel Pallardo was today told to stay patient as he waits for a first-team opportunity at Hearts.

The 28-year-old has managed just two substitute appearances since arriving at Tynecastle in September on a contract until the end of the season. He is eager to make an impact but first had to improve his physical condition after missing Hearts’ pre-season preparations.

Head coach Robbie Neilson revealed that Pallardo is now much fitter and is ready to play, although he admitted sympathy with the player’s predicament. Morgaro Gomis and Prince Buaben are in firm control of the central midfield roles and Pallardo and others are having to wait on the sidelines.

Pallardo harbours experience of top-level football in Spain but needs a sustained run in the Hearts side to help him acclimatise to the game in Scotland. Neilson stressed that the Spaniard will get his chance to play in time.

“It’s difficult for Miguel and I feel a wee bit for him to be honest,” said Neilson.

“He’s come over from Spain and he hadn’t done a pre-season so it’s taken him a wee bit of time to get to the right level. He’s there now and he just needs to wait for his chance.

“I speak to him and he’s quite happy. He’s happy with the way things are going. He’d like to play more games but the team is doing well and he needs to be patient.”