Neilson: Hearts are in good shape for Inverness

Callum Paterson is one of five Hearts players who came through Scotland Under-21 action unscathed
Callum Paterson is one of five Hearts players who came through Scotland Under-21 action unscathed
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HEARTS are preparing a strong squad for Inverness after welcoming their Scotland Under-21 contingent back home unscathed.

Jack Hamilton, Callum Paterson, Jordan McGhee, Billy King and Sam Nicholson will all travel north on Friday night, when Hearts aim to return to winning ways in front of the BT Sport cameras.

The quintet were all involved in Scotland Under-21s’ victory over Northern Ireland in Lurgan on Saturday. They reported back to Riccarton with a clean bill of health on Monday morning. Blazej Augustyn and Miguel Pallardo also have an outside chance of featuring against Inverness having returned to training this week. The Polish defender underwent hernia surgery last month and Pallardo has yet to play this season because of an Achilles problem.

Head coach Robbie Neilson watched his team lose their 100 per cent record to Hamilton two weeks ago but has defender Paterson available after his red card was rescinded. The international break left Hearts stewing on events at New Douglas Park but Neilson and his players are now eager to move on.

“The boys are all good, feel fresh, ready to go to Inverness and go for the three points,” Neilson told the Evening News. “It’s a good game to have but any game is a good game to have after Hamilton. I’m disappointed we had a break after that game but the boys are desperate to get back into it.

“The Scotland Under-21 guys all came back fineg. Augustyn is back in full training, Pallardo has done most of it, so I’ll decide before Friday whether they’ll be involved or not. It’s great to have those two back with the group again. Prince Buaben is okay so we’re in good shape going up to Inverness.”