Gary Mackay: Hearts’ cup-winning chances boosted by quality signings

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You have to think that the cups are Hearts’ best chance of silverware each season.

Rangers and Celtic are always the two clubs you expect to go and compete for the league. Hearts have a realistic opportunity to do well in the Scottish Cup now, though.

Hearts' management team will hope to guide them past Livingston in the Scottish Cup. Pic: SNS

Hearts' management team will hope to guide them past Livingston in the Scottish Cup. Pic: SNS

We have already been in the Betfred Cup semi-final, which shows we have the capability to reach the latter stages of major cup tournaments. However, based on form this season, we could have had an easier opponent than Livingston.

That means there will probably be more of an edge to the game and Hearts will be very focused. They will need that focus come Sunday.

Going into a game against Livingston, there is always an expectation among Hearts fans that you are going to win. You just need to look at Livingston’s results this season to know the problems they can cause. They have taken points from Celtic and Rangers as we all know, so there is no doubt this is going to be a really competitive cup tie. Team selection will be hugely important.

On that front, we have two new faces who will be fighting for a starting place in the side. I think it’s fair to say the supporters will be keen to see them in the flesh.

It’s always nice if you are able to add to your squad in January. Particularly if it’s not just numbers, it’s a couple of players of quality. I think the young lad Jimmy Dunne will be missed because he did very well but hopefully Conor Shaughnessy will do okay in his place.

David Vanecek is somebody I think we have set our hearts on being “the one”. When you’ve waited six months for him to arrive, you hope he hits the ground running. I believe his fitness isn’t 100 per cent but that will come in time.

Hearts finished prior to the winter break with two victories and then added some quality to your squad. That’s all the fans can ask for.

There is some increased competition in attacking areas, other strikers are either back from injury or just coming back from injury – like Uche Ikpeazu.

These guys will soon be fighting for a place. Everything augurs well in that sense because the next part of the season is when all the honours are handed out.