ANDY WEBSTER is due to return to training with Hearts tomorrow and is rated 60/40 by the club’s management team to play in Saturday’s SPL match with Kilmarnock.
Back and hip problems have forced the centre-back to miss the last two games but medical staff are positive about his chances of returning this weekend. Provided Webster trains at Riccarton tomorrow and suffers no subsequent reaction on Friday, he should be back in contention when Kilmarnock visit Tynecastle.
“He is improving,” said the Hearts manager, John McGlynn today. “We’re expecting him to train tomorrow and whether he will be available for selection at the weekend will depend on whether he gets any reaction on Friday. The noises that are coming from the physio and Andy are that he will train tomorrow and we rate his chances of playing as positive. I would say it was 60/40 in his favour.”
Webster’s return would give McGlynn a possible selection problem, with Darren Barr having impressed alongside Marius Zaliukas in central defence in the Scotland internationalist’s absence. Barr and Zaliukas helped keep a clean sheet in last weekend’s win over Dundee United and played together last night as Hearts beat Livingston 3-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the Scottish Communities League Cup. Zaliukas, after a mistake which gifted Livingston an equaliser, scored twice to secure his team’s progress.
“It was a pleasing performance with loads of chances,” said McGlynn. “We are in the next round, we now have back-to-back victories so we are happy. Marius is team captain and you look for leadership so he came through on that one. We didn’t have any doubts. It was a good statement from him.”
n THROUGH Big Hearts, the clubs community charity, Hearts are launching a special Scottish Cup Roadshow aimed at providing schools in Edinburgh and the Lothians with the opportunity to host the world’s oldest football trophy.
The Gorgie club expect to engage with 10,000 pupils before the end of the year with each of them receiving two complimentary tickets to see the team in action. A host of information is also being presented to each youngster that encourages them to get involved in coaching sessions and music tuition at Tynecastle and the Hearts Football Academy. In addition, schools can benefit from fundraising activities linked to each visit.
A number of first-team stars have made themselves available to accompany the Scottish Cup to schools to allow pupils the chance to ask questions, receive autographs and pose for pictures with their heroes.
Schools interested in hosting the cup should email firstname.lastname@example.org .