Jon Daly: I’ll keep Lewis Moore in the Hearts squad

Hearts interim coach Jon Daly gives directions to Lewis Moore. Pic: SNS
Hearts interim coach Jon Daly gives directions to Lewis Moore. Pic: SNS
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Jon Daly today revealed that he recommended Hearts teenager Lewis Moore for a first-team call-up under former head coach Ian Cathro.

The 19-year-old impressed during Saturday’s opening Premiership defeat by Celtic after being promoted from the youth team by interim head coach Daly.

The Irishman rates the winger highly and plans to keep him as part of the Edinburgh club’s first-team squad. He showed why with a diligent and confident performance in Glasgow despite the 4-1 defeat.

Cathro was sacked last Tuesday with Daly taking control alongside coaches Austin MacPhee and Liam Fox. A new head coach will be appointed but, until such times, Moore can consider himself a first-team player.

“Lewis hasn’t really been around the first-team squad an awful lot. I was trying to push him to the other manager because any time he played for me at youth level he did very well,” said Daly, who coaches Hearts Under-20s.

“As long as I’m in charge, he’ll be in and around the squad. That’s not to say he’ll play every game. We’ll look at Kilmarnock and see what their strengths and weaknesses are and see where we feel we can exploit them. We’ll put players in who can cause Kilmarnock problems.

“I thought Lewis was really good at the weekend, very positive and a breath of fresh air. He worked extremely hard and we knew what we’d get from him. He’s a talented boy who works and works and works. He got back in and helped Rafal Grzelak really well. Then he got forward and took chances on Kyle Lafferty’s flick-ons.

“Lewis has been excellent for me in pre-season and that’s why I put him in. We wanted players who could give us that energy, effort and work-rate. I think his inclusion was justified by his performance.”

Daly plans to hold further talks with winger Jamie Walker this week before deciding whether to recall him for Saturday’s trip to Kilmarnock. Walker has been left out of Hearts’ last two matches, with Daly commenting that he needs to “get his head right” after transfer offers from Rangers.

“I’ll need to have another conversation with Jamie and see where he’s at,” said Daly. “As I’ve said, if I was at another club and had £1million to spend, I’d buy him.

“What he brings to the squad and the team is different class.

“He’s a match-winner and it’s disappointing that he’s not involved just now. I don’t think it’s fair on Jamie or the rest of the squad to have him in the team when he’s not mentally right.”