Hearts: Scott McGill earns Steven Naismith praise as Mihai Popescu shows up as 'good pro'

Scott McGill was one of Hearts B’s best players in their 1-0 SPFL Trust Trophy win over Edinburgh City, according to the club’s football development manager Steven Naismith.

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 4:45 pm
Scott McGill impressed for Hearts B in the SPFL Trust Trophy win over Edinburgh City. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The 19-year-old started in the centre of midfield at Ainslie Park on Tuesday night.

Currently on loan at Airdrieonians, where he has started twice and made three substitute appearances, McGill impressed with his physicality and confidence on the ball.

Naismith was part of the coaching staff for the match in his new role and he is aware of the teenager’s potential having played with him last season when the midfielder made four appearances for the Hearts first team.

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Mihai Popescu hasn't featured for the first-team this season. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

“I thought arguably he was the best player for us,” Naismith, who was part of the coaching staff in his role as football development manager, told the Evening News.

"Luke Rathie is a young kid who has come in and showed a lot of maturity [in defence].

"Having Scotty in there, he’s a technically very good footballer, he just needs to learn, and these games are great for him, when he can take a touch, when he needs to move it quickly and more so the positionings where he should be in.

"He was really good.”

Another key player for Hearts on the night was Mihai Popescu.

The Romanian is expected to depart Tynecastle, having been told he can leave.

He has not featured for the first team this season, but showed his quality and professionalism throughout the 90 minutes.

He talked the defence through the game, made his voice heard to the referee, brought experience and composure to the team and he also won the penalty which Euan Henderson converted.

“I think for somebody who has not had very much game time, I spoke to him before, you need games,” Naismith said.

"You don’t know what is going to happen, you need to get fit, you need to get match fit.

"These games are an opportunity and to be fair to him, his response was that he needed games so he was going to take it seriously.

"He showed he is a good pro.”

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