Gary Mackay: Why I want Hearts captain Craig Gordon wrapped in cotton wool
There might be a few Jambos watching Scotland through cracks in their fingers over the next few days. I’m certainly one of them.
Quite simply, we need Craig Gordon to come back in top shape ready for the challenge of facing Rangers at Ibrox a week on Saturday. Any kind of issue on international duty doesn’t bear thinking about so I hope the national team can deliver him home safely.
I was thinking about who has made the same level of impact as Craig with Hearts at this stage in their career. The only one I can think of, and I don't say this lightly, is Sandy Jardine back in the 1980s.
The impact he had on the field and off it probably mirrors what Craig is giving the club at this moment. I can’t give Craig any higher a compliment than that. The level Sandy played at and what he had achieved in the game allowed him to come to Hearts and be an absolute leader on and off the park. He was class.
You could put the same words right next to Craig Gordon and that says it all. The experience of dealing with the demands at Celtic or Rangers sets standards. To then keep that going at another club speaks volumes.
Some players can’t do it once they leave but both Sandy and Craig have done it from a Hearts perspective. They are also outstanding people who are a credit to themselves and their families. They have time for everybody and a real type of class that you can’t buy.
We look like we are well covered at Hearts in all positions with the players that have been signed. I’m not discrediting anybody in the goalkeeping department but if there is somebody needing wrapped in cotton wool, it’s Craig. You have to hope Scotland look after him over the next week.
Hearts are going straight into a game at Ibrox after the international break. There seems to be a conundrum over Alfredo Morelos and his availability but we also have our captain away.
Craig wants to represent his country and it keeps him active, which is important. Outwith the game time, hopefully Steve Clarke will look after him as well as possible.