Andy Webster ban causes headache for Hearts boss

Andy Webster
Andy Webster
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HEARTS manager Paulo Sergio faces a critical decision over who should replace the suspended Andy Webster for Saturday’s match against Dundee United. The Portuguese must choose between Adrian Mrowiec, Darren Barr and Ryan McGowan to partner Marius Zaliukas in central defence.

Webster is banned for one game after accumulating six cautions in the SPL this season. He is available for next weekend’s visit to Ibrox but will sit out as his former club United visit Tynecastle.

McGowan is keen to seize an opportunity to play centre-back, one of his favoured positions, after filling in at right-back and left-back this season. Sergio, however, may favour the more experienced Barr or could opt to move Mrowiec from midfield into central defence.

“As long as I’m on the pitch it doesn’t bother me being shunted about in different positions. I’ll play where the manager asks me to,” McGowan told the Evening News. “I’ve played centre- back before so it’s up to the manager who he wants to play there. If he gives me the shout, I’ll try my best for the team.”

Hearts’ back four has changed regularly since the turn of the year due to injuries and suspensions but McGowan doesn’t feel it is a major problem.

“If you’ve got a stable back four it can help but these things happen in football,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hearts today confirmed the signing of striker Craig Beattie on a short-term contract until the end of the season. The Scotland internationalist, 28, was a free agent after his release from Swansea City.