Taylor Moore emerges as new option in key position for Hearts

Taylor Moore’s imposing display in Hearts’ victory over Dundee United on Saturday has made him a viable future option at right wing-back.
Taylor Moore has impressed whenever called upon by Hearts.Taylor Moore has impressed whenever called upon by Hearts.
Taylor Moore has impressed whenever called upon by Hearts.

The on-loan Bristol City defender was one of several standout Tynecastle players in the 5-2 win as he deputised for the injured Michael Smith.

Predominantly a centre-back, Moore made light of the positional change to become a worthy deputy to Smith while he nurses a back problem.

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Hearts are hopeful that the Northern Irishman will be fit by the time international fortnight ends as they travel to Fir Park to face Motherwell.

If not, Moore can expect to continue wide on the right in manager Robbie Neilson’s 3-4-3 system.

“You saw on Saturday that Taylor looks comfortable playing there,” Neilson told the Evening News. “We will see where Michael is during the next week or so. He's got a wee issue with his back. Whether Michael comes back in or Taylor stays in the team, they are both good players.”

Neilson believes consistent and straightforward instructions from coaching staff help Hearts players whenever they are asked to play in an unfamiliar role. He cited Moore as an example.

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“We are pretty consistent in our message to the players: 'This is the system we play, this the formation and this is what we need you to do,'” added the manager.

“It makes it quite simple for the boys. If Taylor is playing in the back three, or if he's playing wing-back, then because we work on it all the time he knows exactly what we need.

“I thought he did really well in the first half on Saturday. In the second half, he sat a wee bit deeper and maybe could have been more aggressive going forward. Overall, it was a good day for him.

“Distributing the ball is exactly what he does well because he's a good player. Like Aaron McEneff, he has found it difficult to get into the team because players around him have realised that, with him coming in, they need to raise their game.”

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Teenage defender Cammy Logan was an unused substitute against United after recovering from injury. Fellow right-back Jamie Brandon is still several weeks away from returning from a ruptured cruciate ligament.

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