Gary Mackay gives his verdict on Stephen Kingsley arrival at Hearts
From what I saw of him when he played in Scotland, he always looked a very talented player. You would like to think he can have an injury-free run and cement the position.
Aaron Hickey aside, we haven’t really had a settled and reliable left full-back since Adam Eckersley but Kingsley looks like a useful addition.
He defends well, reads the game and is comfortable going forward. These are all things the good left-backs at Tynecastle have had in their lockers through the years.
I look at that Hearts squad, no disrespect to any other teams in the Championship, and they should hit the ground running. If they have the motivation levels of the manager, and people like Michael Smith and Steven Naismith, they should be very strong.
When you look at who was playing on Tuesday night, that is a Premiership squad of players. Plus you still have people like Smith, Liam Boyce, a fit Peter Haring, John Souttar and Kingsley to feed into the starting line-up.
The signings brought in during the summer didn’t come to Hearts to play in the second tier, let’s not kid ourselves. I think the group we have now should be capable of making a fist of it in the top flight.
It’s therefore vital that we try to really bulldoze teams as soon as the Championship starts. The pace and width available to the manager is great and we have reliability in goal now.
Sometimes miserable 1-0 scorelines can be the difference and they shouldn’t be sneezed at. Hearts’ last game before lockdown was a miserable 1-0 but it went against us and look how it cost us.
That’s why you need a competitive side in the Premiership and I think that’s what is being built at Tynecastle now. It’s a long-term project, not a short-term thing solely to get promotion this season.
I like the balance of the squad, I like the freshness and energy which has been added. It was much-needed and sets us up well for this season and, hopefully, beyond.