McKay insists he can play in Hearts striker role

Brad McKay insists he could do a job up front for Hearts
Brad McKay insists he could do a job up front for Hearts
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BRAD McKAY believes he can solve Hearts’ goalscoring problems after asking manager Gary Locke to play as a forward.

The 20-year-old is normally a centre-back, but was an imposing striker earlier in his career and wants to score the goals which could help his club avoid relegation. With Ryan Stevenson and Gary Oliver injured for the busy Christmas and New Year period, Locke has no recognised centre-forward. The manager is dreadfully short on attacking options with only teenagers Callum Paterson and Dale Carrick to choose from – underlined by the fact Hibs are the only Premiership team who have scored less league goals than Hearts this season.

McKay has offered himself as a temporary solution, claiming he has already demonstrated his eye for goal. “I have goals in me and I have asked to play up front before,” he smiled. “I played up front a good few times and I scored a hat-trick for the Under-20s against Kilmarnock once. I scored two headers and a tap-in, which was controversial as the defender was over the line when I forced it home. I ran away with three fingers in the air, so I claimed a treble. It is something that I can do.

“It is possibly an idea and I asked the gaffer at the start of the season to play as a striker when Danny Wilson signed on. There is an opportunity for me, as I do score a lot of goals at training and the boys all laugh at me. John Robertson and the Hearts players call me the big centre-forward.

“If I was to liken myself to anybody, it would be Peter Crouch. I am a goalscoring threat in the box. Robbo knows I have goals in me and that is a real compliment coming from a hit-man like him.”

Hearts are an astonishing 25-1 with online bookmaker McBookie to win at Celtic Park this afternoon, the first time odds have stretched so long for a top-flight team in Scotland.