Scott Fraser latest as Hearts pinpoint what they must guard against

The midfielder is nursing a calf problem ahead of the trip to Ross County

Scott Fraser's fitness will be assessed over the next 24 hours before Hearts travel to Dingwall for Saturday's Premiership match with Ross County. The on-loan Charlton Athletic midfielder missed Monday night's Scottish Cup win at Morton with a calf issue but management are hopeful he will be available for the weekend.

Hearts head coach Steven Naismith explained that he will proceed with caution before deciding whether Fraser is fit enough to make the trip north. "Before Monday, his issue wasn't too bad," Naismith told the Edinburgh News. "He had a similar injury at the start of the season so we just wants to make sure it's clear and gone. I'm expecting him to be back in the squad but we will see what happens over the next few days of training."

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County currently have Naismith's former Hearts and Scotland team-mate Don Cowie in charge on an interim basis. He is their third manager of the campaign after Malky Mackay and Derek Adams. Hearts will arrive in the Highlands on a quite phenomenal run of 13 wins from their last 16 games in all competitions. However, Naismith is wary of County's attacking dangers despite their position second bottom of the league.

Eamonn Brophy, Jordan White and Simon Murray are all vying for places in attack under Cowie and Hearts will be warned about their physicality. "We are in good form, we are in a rhythm, we have an understanding of what we want and we are controlling loads of games," said Naismith. "Ross County have changed managers and I know Don well. He will do loads of hard work to change his team and I think he has slowly done that. It can be hard with some injuries but they carry a big threat.

"They have three forwards who I think a lot of teams in the league would be interested in having. We need to guard against that. We know what our strengths are and we need to play to our strengths. We have quite a few injuries but I think we have a decent enough squad depth to get through it. With injuries comes opportunity and the guys who come into the team have got to take those."

Kenneth Vargas scored in the 85th minute at Cappielow Park to take the Edinburgh club into next month's Scottish Cup semi-finals, where they will meet Rangers. Morton's spirited performance drew plenty praise and looked like it might take the tie to extra-time until Vargas struck.

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"Patience and professionalism were the biggest things," said Naismith. "The team selection was decided with the directness and the fight which was going to happen initially. Then, in the right moments, it was about getting the right players on the pitch at the right time. When Alex Cochrane came on and went into the middle of the pitch, I thought he did really well. Natty Atkinson was a constant threat in the final third. Aidan Denholm comes on and gives us that energy and control as well.

"Denholm should have scored. I actually had a feeling that he would score in the game and he had a great chance. We had other chances and should have scored before we did, but we finished the game not feeling under pressure. That is quite an achievement in a cup quarter-final away from home at one of the toughest grounds you will play at."

The winning goal was created by a driving run from the Hearts midfielder Beni Baningime, who eliminated four opponents in the process before sending a through pass to Lawrence Shankland. He eventually teed up Vargas for a powerful strike.

"When Beni gets on those runs, he has got a bit of pace and he glides past players. I think the Morton midfielder [Alan Power] just decided: 'I'm not taking him out.' The next part is that calmness. That's probably what we lacked with Kenneth's first chance and Denholm's chance. Beni has that calmness to find the through pass for Shanks. He could easily have played the ball wide and then we still need to beat the man, but he cut through their defence with that ball."