Robbie Neilson is delighted to have Dale Carrick available after injury because of the pace and energy he adds to Hearts’ forward line.
The 20-year-old striker is in the squad for this afternoon’s league encounter with Queen of the South at Tynecastle after a two-month injury absence.
Carrick, nicknamed Speedy, tore a hamstring in October, compounding an injury-interrupted start to the campaign. After a productive first half of the year, in which he scored six goals in 18 appearances, the striker has been left frustrated on the sidelines for much of Neilson’s tenure so far.
However, he is now recovered from his injury problems and ready to return. Neilson told the Evening News today that Hearts must proceed with caution due to the nature of Carrick’s injury but welcomed the prospect of having the player back.
“Dale has trained with a view to possibly being involved in the game,” he said. “He has good energy and pace and he can really stretch defenders with his movement in behind. It will be good to have him back.
“We need to be careful with him to start with because he’s been out for a while with his hamstring. We want to make sure he’s fine but I’m looking forward to getting him back. He gives us definite pace over the top.
“It’s been difficult for him and, as a player, you get periods like that. He had a problem earlier in the season and then he’s done something again. It’s just him getting over it but he’s a good player and I’m sure the rest of the season will be good for him.”
Danny Wilson and Sam Nicholson are also back in the Hearts squad today after injury, with only Kevin McHattie and Osman Sow missing. Morgaro Gomis begins a two-match suspension.