Hearts set to call upon fringe men at Forfar

Robbie Neilson has players nursing niggling injuries. Picture Ian Rutherford
Robbie Neilson has players nursing niggling injuries. Picture Ian Rutherford
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ROBBIE NEILSON will make several changes to the Hearts team for tomorrow night’s League Cup tie at Forfar.

Jordan McGhee, Sean McKirdy and Gary Oliver are all in line to feature at Station Park as the head coach rests some players with niggling injuries.

Midfielder Prince Buaben is certain to sit out due to a hamstring complaint respectively. Jamie Walker missed Saturday’s win over Partick Thistle with a knee problem and will also miss the trip to Angus. None of the injuries are regarded as serious.

Neilson will take the opportunity to use his squad depth against Forfar and give game time to players who have been on the fringes of the starting line-up so far this season. McGhee, McKirdy and Oliver have mainly been restricted to substitute roles.

A handful of changes are expected to give some first-team regulars a rest ahead of Saturday’s league trip to New Douglas Park, where Hearts face Hamilton Academical. The Premiership then takes a two-week break for internationals, which Neilson hopes will allow everyone time to recover from their ailments.

“At the moment, the players are a bit patched up. Buaben and Ozturk are playing with injuries, because they want to help us win,” he said. “We’ve got the international break after the next two games, so they’ll get a good rest and that should see the team looking a bit sharper after that.”

Following Saturday’s comfortable win that keeps Hearts top of the league with a 100 per cent record after five games, left-back Juwon Oshaniwa urged fans to keep believing.

He insisted his team can challenge Celtic this season despite being the Premiership’s newly-promoted club and praised the backing from supporters who are packing out Tynecastle.

“That is the reason I am here. I didn’t just come here for a picnic,” said the Nigerian internationalist.

“I have come here to be celebrated. That’s it. Everything is possible.

“The major stuff is you being strong mentally. I want to believe that, with this start, we’re strong. Every win is another morale boost.

“I have played in more crowded stadiums than this but there are amazing fans here. They always keep believing in us.

“Whenever I hear their voice, whenever I hear them roaring, I keep pressing the team. They are always behind us and we never disappoint them.”