Gary Mackay: Offloading players while bottom of the league is a huge challenge for Hearts

Moving players on won't be easy but club must clear space in squad

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 6:00 am
The Hearts squad needs trimmed to make way for new players

Being bottom of the league presents its own challenges when you need to offload players. For Hearts, it is going to be really difficult to add to the current squad without offloading.

That will be a major test for the manager and others involved in the recruitment side. If we are able to move players on given where we are in the league table, I reckon that will be an achievement in itself.

There have been enough opportunities given to the previous management regime, now we have a new manager and he is the one we are putting our faith in. The previous project failed so it is now a case of backing his judgment.

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That must be done allied to what he has pinpointed with individuals already at the club.

It is important he is given the freedom to make three or four squad adjustments as he sees fit, and hopefully that will be enough to kick Hearts into gear. At this moment in time, as we have all seen, if we continue to pick up points at the current ratio, there is only one place we are going.

For me, the spine of the Hearts team needs improved. The midfield was far better balanced against Aberdeen and I was happy with that area of the pitch for the first time in a while. For the way Daniel Stendel wants to play, that is important.

I’m still not convinced about any of the three goalkeepers on our books. The centre-backs fit just now have qualities but I don’t know if they can play the way the manager wants to.

Our main strikers aren’t doing it right at this minute and it’s not easy in January to just go and pluck a striker out of nowhere.

Most clubs who are fighting relegation or challenging for promotion or titles want to keep hold of their forwards. Even if the guy in question is just a squad striker, he could make something happen in the final stages of a game which may make the difference.

The balance for Hearts is getting the right players in whilst also getting more from those already in the squad. That comes from players buying into what the manager wants and doing as he asks.