Gary Mackay: Jamie Walker equally useful in two roles for Hearts
You would imagine that Jamie Walker is getting closer and closer to a place in the Hearts starting line-up.
That would be well deserved, although he has been pretty useful coming off the substitutes’ bench recently.
It’s been a really long time since any Hearts player had such a consistent impact coming on in games. Jamie has been excellent at that over the last few weeks and scored some important goals in the process.
I’m not saying that’s his forte but, if that is how we are going to get the most from him, then it’s something to bear in mind. He is certainly good at exploting space and opening up defences when they’re tired. He’s done really well when asked to perform that role.
No matter what the role is, every Hearts player should be busting a gut to contribute as much as they can between now and the end of the season.
The club looks like it’s going to be playing in the Premiership next season, and when that happens the last place you want to find yourself is back in the Championship.
That’s what players need to be looking at: Getting up to the Premiership, hopefully with crowds, Edinburgh derbies, games against Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen, etc.
These rivalries have been sorely missed in the league. That’s what the players should be focused on – making sure they perform and stay part of the squad for next season.
No disrespect but clubs like Livingston, St Mirren and St Johnstone are vying for the top six. It should be a no-brainer for Hearts to be a top-six Premiership team.
They set out their stall last summer and planned to win this league. That isn’t achieved yet but it’s getting very close. Once it’s all done, they will be a Premiership club again.
That means they need Premiership players. You would expect them to sign a few new lads over the summer if finances allow it, so that could mean people being moved on to free up space.
If I was in that dressing room just now, I’d be giving everything to make sure I wasn’t one of them.