John McGlynn backs Hearts youngsters to bounce back

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JOHN McGLYNN challenged Hearts’ teenagers to show their character today by responding to last week’s defeat at Tannadice with a victory over Kilmarnock.

The Tynecastle manager is eagerly awaiting kick-off at 3pm this afternoon to judge how his young players react after the 3-1 defeat by Dundee United. He said they had been buoyant in training throughout the week but stressed that the acid test will be when the action gets underway against Kilmarnock.

“It was a blow to lose last week because you never want to lose a game. You can never tell how a match is going to go and you can’t always legislate for what can happen,” said ­McGlynn. “Things can happen outwith your control, like an ­injury or a bad decision or a mistake. Sometimes it can even be the weather.

“With regards to here in training each day, losing has never bothered our young boys one little bit. We believe we gave a good account of ourselves last Saturday. You aren’t going to win every game and we certainly never want to lose football matches. The proof in the pudding will be against Kilmarnock when we look for a response. That’s when we’ll see how it has affected them. That’s when it matters.”

Hearts are without Ryan Stevenson, who begins a three-match suspension following his red card at Tannadice. Marius Zaliukas is also out, joining Callum Paterson and Danny Grainger on the long-term injury list. The Lithuanian will not play again this season due to torn ankle ligaments, with Darren Barr most likely to take his place in central defence.

Scott Robinson could return in midfield.