HEARTS manager John McGlynn today promised to protect Kevin McHattie more than ever as the young left-back is now a vital component of his team with Danny Grainger out injured for the rest of the season.
McHattie, 19, has started the last two matches since doctors confirmed Grainger has torn his anterior cruciate ligament and will not play again until next summer. His absence provides McHattie with an unexpected run in the Hearts first team, with McGlynn recognising that the defender’s development must now be handled even more carefully.
“We’ll look after Kevin and I’m sure he’ll be fine. He is an important player for us with Danny Grainger out,” McGlynn told the Evening News.
“We don’t have a massive squad with three players in every position. Kevin has an opportunity to play a right good number of games between now and the end of the season and gain loads of experience. It’s up to him to step up to the mark and take this chance.”
McHattie is certain to continue at left-back this weekend, when Aberdeen visit Tynecastle for an SPL fixture which has yet to sell out.