Neil Alexander: I want to be Hearts’ No.1

Neil Alexander in training at Riccarton
Neil Alexander in training at Riccarton
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Neil Alexander insists he has no intention of winding down at Hearts and wants to become his new club’s No.1 for years to come.

The 36-year-old former Livingston, Cardiff, Rangers and Crystal Palace goalkeeper moved to Tynecastle as a player/coach last week.

Robbie Neilson was delighted to get the Scotland cap on board as he shapes his squad for a Championship promotion push, but the head coach has stated that he still hopes to recruit a third keeper to compete for the gloves with Alexander and youngster Jack Hamilton.

The veteran, however, is adamant that, despite taking on extra responsibilities as goalkeeping coach, he is still perfectly equipped to succeed Jamie MacDonald as Hearts’ keeper.

“There’s no way I’m wanting to hang up my gloves just yet,” he told the Evening News. “I still think I’ve got a good couple of years ahead of me as a goalkeeper and I’ve stressed that to [director of football] Craig Levein and Robbie Neilson.

“I don’t want to be pigeon-holed just as a goalkeeping coach. I want to play and I feel like I can still do a job for the next few years. I wanted to get my foot in the door with the coaching and this is a great opportunity to get a start with my coaching career, but I do want to play on a Saturday. I’ve come back in good condition and I feel great. Ultimately, it’s up to me to prove to the manager that I’m good enough.”

Meanwhile, former Hibs youngster Lee Currie is trying to win himself a deal at Hearts. The 24-year-old midfielder, who has spent the last three years with Berwick Rangers, is currently training at Riccarton under the watchful eyes of Neilson and Levein.