Hearts captaincy issue comes sharply into focus with Craig Gordon returning and talks due with Lawrence Shankland

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Tynecastle management are soon to make an important decision on who wears the armband

Talks over the Hearts captaincy will take place this month as club skipper Craig Gordon prepares to resume his playing career after 10 months out injured. The goalkeeper’s imminent return will force club management to make a decision on who wears the armband during matches.

Lawrence Shankland has captained Hearts since Gordon suffered a horrific double leg-break against Dundee United at Tannadice last December. The striker embraced the extra responsibility and finished last season with 28 goals in 47 appearances at club level.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Gordon, though, remains the official club captain at Tynecastle Park. He is already back training and is expected to be doing full daily sessions during this month’s international break. His return to first-team action at the age of 40 is therefore looming on the horizon.

Hearts head coach Steven Naismith told the Evening News that a decision has yet to be made on whether Gordon regains the armband or Shankland keeps it. “It’s a conversation we will have,” said Naismith. “That would probably be another extension of adding a bit more pressure on [to Gordon], so we will wait and see.

“When Craig comes back in to training full-time and is getting near the point where he is fit enough to play games, then as a manager that is a decision which needs to be made. From my experience, whether you have the armband or not, you have a responsibility. The older pros here are very good in that respect.

“Shanks having the armband has improved an element of his game in terms of him being a leader. The way he conducts himself day-to-day around the training ground is good. It's something I noticed from afar, even last season. I knew him as a younger player when I played. He was coming through and got into the national team but I probably hadn't seen those leadership skills that much. Back then, he was an in an environment where he was never that leader.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I can really see from last season to now that he has taken that on board and been comfortable with it. I wouldn’t say it's something he has struggled with. We also have the likes of Liam Boyce and Stephen Kingsley who lead the group. So, in terms of the armband, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.”