Robinson and Nicholson bid for Stevo slot

Scott Robinson

Scott Robinson

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SAM NICHOLSON and Scott Robinson are vying to replace the suspended Ryan Stevenson for Hearts’ trip to Ross County on Saturday.

Stevenson begins a two-match suspension following his red card at St Johnstone last weekend and Nicholson and Robinson are the main contenders to step in.

Manager Gary Locke is expected to move Callum Paterson from midfield to join Dale Carrick in attack in Stevenson’s absence, leaving a space to be filled in the central area.

Nicholson, the 18-year-old winger, scored his first senior goal in the 3-3 draw at McDiarmid Park as 21-year-old midfielder Robinson served a one-match ban.

Both players will be eager to claim a starting place in the hope of cementing themselves in the side. Hearts have another league game against St Mirren at Tynecastle next Wednesday before the League Cup semi-final with Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Easter Road on Sunday week.

The St Mirren game has been rearranged to ensure Stevenson’s can serve his two-match suspension and be available for the semi-final. The meeting with Inverness has become Hearts’ biggest game of the season to date, with the prospect of a final offering both the prestigious reward of a trophy and vital financial rewards for the cash-strapped Edinburgh club.