Sergio: Not easy to drop MacDonald

Jamie Macdonald
Jamie Macdonald
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HEARTS boss Paulo Sergio has admitted that Jamie MacDonald is entitled to feel he’s been treated unfairly after losing his place to the fit-again Marian Kello.

MacDonald produced a man-of-the-match performance in the 2-0 win over Celtic earlier in the month, having been given his chance after Kello suffered a shoulder injury in the first Capital derby of the season.

But he was back on the bench as Sergio opted to restore Kello in his starting line-up for the 2-0 victory over Dunfermline at East End Park on Saturday.

After the Slovakian picked up his injury when being clattered by Hibs striker Akpo Sodje, MacDonald had spoken about how he was hoping to get a prolonged run between the posts.

“I don’t know how long Marian is going to be out, but it looks like a few weeks,” said the Scot at the time. “So, if I keep clean sheets there is a good chance I can stay in for the season.”

MacDonald made a string of fabulous saves in keeping a clean sheet against Celtic, but that performance still wasn’t good enough for him to hold on to his place. After the win in Fife, Sergio talked of the difficult decision he had to make and praised the standard of goalkeepers at his disposal at Tynecastle.

“In Kello, MacDonald and [Janos] Balogh, we have three great goalkeepers,” he said. “I can say that it was unfair on MacDonald to drop him because he was doing a very good job. Both Kello and McDonald have reasons to be confident.

“It was a very hard decision but who says that a coach’s job is easy?”

Ian Black limped off in the first half after taking a knock on his leg but Sergio is hopeful the midfielder will have recovered in time for Sunday’s home clash with Rangers.