Gary Mackay: I think Hearts are mulling over David Milinkovic

You can't ask for much more than a 2-0 win against a team going for second place.

Monday, 9th April 2018, 6:30 am
David Milinkovic scored on his return to the Hearts first team. Pic: SNS

It was an excellent performance from Hearts on Saturday.

We’ve now beaten Celtic and Aberdeen convincingly and also beaten Hibs in the past few months. That’s three of the top four defeated in all competitions, so it shows we’re a capable side, especially when we start with a more experienced line-up, as we did on Saturday.

I’m all for promoting youth, but I think when you’re up against a team of Aberdeen’s strength, quality and experience, there has to be a good degree of experience in the side.

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There’s been talk of Aaron Hughes being retained at 38. Not everybody will agree with that decision but he showed his quality on Saturday and if management feel his presence is having a positive impact off the pitch as well, then I think that’s important.

David Milinkovic played a key role on Saturday and it remains to be seen if he will be retained by Hearts after his loan is up. He is a fans’ favourite but ultimately he has to become a manager’s favourite if he wants to stay at Hearts, and I’m not convinced he is yet. He plays a bit more off the cuff than most others in this Hearts team do. In Craig Levein’s Hearts team in his previous reign, Jean Louis Valois was the one who played off the cuff, but I’m not sure Milinkovic has earned quite that same trust from the manager as yet. Perhaps Saturday’s performance and goal will enhance that trust.

David maybe hasn’t impacted games as much as he could have done at times, but he’s got a bit of flair about him and is a potential game-changer. To me, it looks like the manager is still deliberating over whether to keep him.

We’ve scored some good team goals in recent matches, which is promising. It shows we might be starting to get a bit of cohesion about our play, which makes it a lot more enjoyable for the paying public.

The challenge for the last five games of the season is to try and complete the campaign undefeated at Tynecastle and also to try and show the teams in the top six that we are capable of being a bit more competitive away from home.