Hearts would have '˜commanding' keeper in Matt Gilks

Matt Gilks is being lined up by Hearts to replace Neil AlexanderMatt Gilks is being lined up by Hearts to replace Neil Alexander
Matt Gilks is being lined up by Hearts to replace Neil Alexander
SCOTLAND winger Matt Phillips believes Hearts will get a quality, dependable goalkeeper if they sign Matt Gilks.

The pair played together at Blackpool for three years and were international team-mates, and Phillips feels Gilks would be a huge figure at Tynecastle.

The 33-year-old is in advanced talks about becoming the new Hearts No 1. Neil Alexander’s departure leaves a void which Gilks is keen to fill and take the chance to play in Europe. Hearts hope to complete negotiations with him before they return for pre-season training on June 15.

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Phillips, in the Scotland squad for friendlies with Italy and France, explained the attributes which could make Gilks a success in Edinburgh. “I was with Gilo at Blackpool and in a few Scotland squads too and you know you’re getting a goalkeeper you can rely on,” said the player, now with Queens Park Rangers.

Matt Phillips in action for ScotlandMatt Phillips in action for Scotland
Matt Phillips in action for Scotland

“He’s a good lad, dependable and a terrific player as well. If Hearts get him then that would be a good signing for them. He’s got a few caps and been in a lot of squads, so anyone with that kind of international pedigree is obviously a very capable player.”

Phillips added that Gilks’ character and personality would enhance the spirit within the Hearts dressing-room.

“He’s a good lad around the place, which goes a long way to helping the atmosphere in a dressing-room. Maybe people down south might be surprised that players like this are coming to Scottish football but there are big clubs up here and some of the football is of a really high standard.

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“Gilo had a lot of strengths as a keeper. He commanded his area well, he was a good shot-stopper and was very vocal too, which is what you want. You want a goalkeeper who will sort out his defence and keep everyone right and he was like that.”