JOHN McGLYNN has assured Hearts fans that Tynecastle’s prodigious youngsters are going nowhere, with the club working to secure their clutch of talented academy graduates on new contracts. The manager stressed that none of his kids will be allowed to leave despite Hearts’ well-publicised financial problems this season.
Some established players on higher wages will depart between now and the summer but McGlynn promised supporters that those who have progressed from youth team to first team this season will stay. Contract talks are ongoing with a number of those Hearts want to keep for next year.
“I’m hoping we are going to have news for the fans shortly,” said McGlynn. “We are working with a number of players at the minute. We would like to give good news to the fans because it’s been a difficult season for everyone with a lot of doom and gloom. But they can rest assured that all the best young players will be staying at Tynecastle and plying their trade here next year.”
Younger players will again be called upon this weekend as Hearts visit Celtic on league business without the suspended Marius Zaliukas and Ryan Stevenson. Ryan McGowan has also left for China, meaning his young brother Dylan is likely to start the match.
“Celtic away, for every team in the SPL, is the hardest game of the season,” McGlynn told the Hearts website. “We went through there earlier in the season and acquitted ourselves very well, unfortunately going down to a 1-0 defeat. We do go into the game without Ryan McGowan, obviously, and Marius Zaliukas and Ryan Stevenson. It’s not the best situation to have going into such a game.
“However, in the Hibs game Dylan McGowan went into centre-back, Darren Barr went to right-back, Scott Robinson came in and then Jason Holt came on. The young lads have always come in and acquitted themselves very well. They’ve never let us down. There’s an opportunity going to open up for other younger players to come in and show what they can do.
“Celtic have dropped points at home this season and, in years gone by, that’s not necessarily been the case. They can be that wee bit vulnerable at times. I didn’t feel the last game against them at Tynecastle was a 4-0 game. Celtic played exceptionally well on the night and took their chances but Fraser Forster had a great game in goal for them. He denied us two, three or four goals that night.
“We have the belief that we can do it. We have a lot of big games coming up as we have the League Cup semi-final (against Inverness) as well. The players are playing for their positions in the semi-final. There’s a great chance to get out of the blocks in the New Year. To get three points at Parkhead would be a magnificent achievement considering the players we will be without. If we can do that, it would be a massive boost going into the Inverness game.”