Craig Levein explains why he’ll keep faith with Colin Doyle in Hearts goal

Colin Doyle has kept three clean sheets in a row for Hearts. Pic: SNS
Colin Doyle has kept three clean sheets in a row for Hearts. Pic: SNS
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After three successive clean sheets, Hearts manager Craig Levein will keep faith with goalkeeper Colin Doyle provided the Irishman’s form continues.

Doyle kept Livingston out in Sunday’s 1-0 Scottish Cup triumph to follow shutouts against Hamilton and Hibs prior to the winter break. He now has a firm grip of the goalkeeping slot at Tynecastle Park, where Hearts host Premiership matches against Dundee tomorrow night and St Johnstone on Saturday.

The 33-year-old spent the first half of the season as deputy to the Czech Zdenek Zlamal. Both keepers were signed last summer, with Zlamal already in place as No.1 when Doyle arrived.

Zlamal was relegated to the substitutes’ bench after December’s 5-0 defeat by Livingston and Doyle has stepped in with some confident displays. Levein is hoping they continue over the coming weeks and stressed that both goalkeepers have plenty to offer.

“I gave Bobby [Zlamal] a fair run earlier on in the season so it’s up to Colin, really,” the manager told the Evening News. “We are in the fortunate situation where both of them can do us a turn.

“As long as I’m fair and treating them both the same, then I don’t see any reason why we can’t get the best out the both of them. Bobby has played more games for us than Colin but I wouldn’t say Colin has done anything to make me feel negative in any way.

“It’s good, strong, honest competition. That always helps to keep both goalkeepers on their toes. There is a fair bit of respect between them, so that’s good.”