HEARTS manager John McGlynn will take a late decision today on whether to include striker Gordon Smith in his matchday squad for the season’s opening SPL game with St Johnstone.
Smith has managed just over an hour of football during pre-season because of illness and is “two or three weeks” behind his colleagues as the new campaign prepares to get underway.
The best Smith could hope for is a place amongst the substitutes, thus offering back-up to Hearts’ principal striker John Sutton.
However, McGlynn hinted that 18-year-old Dale Carrick may be his preferred option on the bench until Smith’s fitness improves.
“The first XI is picked, it’s just a matter of filling in one or two spaces on the bench,” McGlynn told the Evening News.
“We’ll discuss that with the backroom staff and make a decision.
“We’ve introduced young Dale Carrick, who is a decent option for us, in recent weeks.
“He scored a really good goal when he came on in the bounce game on Tuesday night so that gives us something different completely.
“He played well against Dunfermline and Rotherham. I’m fairly relaxed about what we’ve got.
“Gordon played 65-70 minutes of the bounce game and did okay but he’s probably needing games.
“That was his first match. His illness has put him two or three weeks behind everyone.
“It’s up to us to make that choice. We’re aware of Gordon and what he can offer us.”