Sergio insists out-of-favour star still has Sutton to offer

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PAULO SERGIO has assured the currently out-of-favour John Sutton that he still has a future at Hearts.

Reports surfaced last month that the former Motherwell striker, pictured right, had been told by the manager he was surplus to requirements after finding himself a peripheral figure since the 5-0 Europa League defeat at home to Tottenham. However, Sergio is adamant he has nothing against Sutton and that the door is very much still open for the Englishman, who revealed his intention this week to stay and fight for his place.

Sergio said: “Sutton has a three-year contract with the club. I start all the games with 11 players so, like John, there are many players not playing enough for their liking. I want them to keep that feeling and keep working to change my ideas.

“Rudi Skacel wasn’t playing at the beginning of the season and now he’s playing, so he’s shown to me he can be part of the solution.

“He’s not the same player he was two months ago and I hope John keeps improving in the same way.

“It’s nothing to do with his style of play [that he’s not in the team], it’s just that I start all the games with only 11 players. If I put John in, then next time we will be here talking about another player being left out.”