Craig Gordon explains how Hearts will cope with so many big players missing

Craig Gordon believes the spirit Hearts showed at Tannadice last weekend can stand the Jambos in good stead as they prepare to face St Mirren in the Scottish Cup with 11 players carrying knocks.

By Gavin McCafferty
Friday, 11th March 2022, 2:04 pm
Updated Friday, 11th March 2022, 2:31 pm

Hearts lost five players to injury during last Saturday's game against Dundee United but still managed to fight back for a 2-2 draw.

John Souttar, Gary Mackay-Steven, Nathaniel Atkinson, Alex Cochrane and Cammy Devlin all went off but Hearts reorganised and got a crucial point in their attempts to seal third spot in the league.

Attentions turn to the Scottish Cup on Saturday night and manager Robbie Neilson will wait until the day of the game to select his side, with some players facing fitness tests.

Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon training ahead of Saturday night's Scottish Cup quarter-final against St Mirren at Tynecastle

Gordon said: "We will see what happens with the injuries. We are hopeful on a few and there is strength in those positions.

"There will be players that make it and there will be ones that have to step in. But we have a good spirit and no matter who comes in, everybody will be together and willing to win the game.

"That is something we have had and we proved it against Dundee United with everything that was going against us.

"We still managed to come back and get something from the game when it looked lost. Everything that could go against us was but we stuck at it and I'm sure, no matter who plays, we will have that same spirit that we can go and get a result from any game.

"I can't remember anything like it. Just as well it was five subs because otherwise we could have been struggling. It was really strange to have that amount of injuries in the one game but we managed to get through and get something.

"Players had to play out of position a little bit, fill holes in the team that they probably wouldn't have expected to going into the game, and we got something from a difficult place to go at the best of times."

Hearts have fond memories of playing on a Saturday night having beaten Celtic on the opening day of the league campaign in front of a restricted crowd at Tynecastle.

"It was good the last time and hopefully we get a similar result," Gordon said.

"If we get the place packed out, it will be a great atmosphere. There were only 5,000 in the last time and it was a really good atmosphere even with that. If we can get the fans in to back us, hopefully we can get through to the next round."

The Scotland goalkeeper is looking to win the competition for a seventh time, having won it with Hearts in 2006 and then five times with Celtic. He also lost in the final to his former club following his return to Hearts in 2020.

The 39-year-old said: "I am always motivated to try to get to cup finals and Hampden and play matches there. Anything can happen, you are only two matches away from potentially winning the cup.

"We have to get through this one, it's going to be difficult, St Mirren have been on a decent run of late so we have to be fully focused on this one.

"I am sure they will have designs on getting to Hampden themselves and potentially lifting the cup. We will have to play well."

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