Gary Mackay: Kids did well but I want Jamie Walker in Hearts team

Celtic's James Forrest and Hearts' Lewis Moore tussle. Picture: Ian Rutherford/PA
Celtic's James Forrest and Hearts' Lewis Moore tussle. Picture: Ian Rutherford/PA
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It’s been a tumultuous start to the season for Hearts, and given everything that’s happened recently, Saturday’s defeat at Celtic Park was entirely predictable.

The main positives were the performances of young Lewis Moore and Jamie Brandon, who both did well in a very difficult environment. Unfortunately, a spirited start was undermined by a few costly errors – I think it’s clear there are still areas of the team that need to be strengthened before the transfer window closes.

With regard to the spat between Brendan Rodgers and Jon Daly, I can see why Hearts won’t have liked what the Celtic manager had to say about the structure at Tynecastle.

Whether he should have commented on the inner workings of a rival club is debatable, but due to his stature, people value his opinion and want to hear his thoughts on whatever the talking points are in Scottish football. Brendan was asked a question and has routinely been open and honest in all of his dealings with the media since arriving in Scotland. Amid Hearts’ current predicament, Rodgers’ comments are not a significant issue.

I’ve actually been impressed with how Daly has handled things over the last week and I think he has the presence to be a good head coach, but, as I wrote last week, I don’t think Heart of Midlothian need a head coach – we need a manager who controls every aspect of the football department the way Rodgers does at Celtic, Derek McInnes does at Aberdeen and Tommy Wright does at St Johnstone.

I’m comfortable with the club taking a few weeks to decide on their next move because, given we started away to Celtic and nobody expected us to get a result, our Premiership season effectively kicks-off at Kilmarnock this weekend.

Killie are coming off a bad result and their home form has been as poor as our away form in recent seasons, so, even in our current state, we should still be capable of getting a result.

I’d like to see young Moore retain his place and I’d hope to see Jamie Walker back in the team because younger, more nimble players tend to be better suited to the plastic surface. Walker is our key man, and, unless I’m missing something, has done nothing to merit being totally banished from the squad when others who have delivered less to the team continue to feature. With Walker in the side, we have far more chance of beating Kilmarnock.