Sean Clare says there are no excuses for his Hearts form
Hearts midfielder Sean Clare feels fitter than ever and admitted there can be no excuses for his performances this season.
The 22-year-old will play more of a central role and feels ready to do himself justice after playing catch-up for much of last year.
He arrived at Tynecastle Park in September after ankle surgery left him without a pre-season. This year he is free of injury and his body is in prime condition.
He is expected to be a key player when Hearts start their Betfred Cup campaign against Dundee United on Friday night.
“I’m feeling much better. I don’t have the injury and I feel fit and strong,” said Clare. “We’ve done a lot of fitness and strengthening work – stuff I missed or had to catch up on when I got here last season.
“I feel a lot fitter than when I first came because I’m not playing catch-up, I’m in amongst it. I am injury-free at the moment so hopefully I stay like that.”
Clare takes responsibility for his own form even when not in peak condition. He struggled for his best form initially but has come through this summer’s pre-season seamlessly so far. He scored in Saturday’s friendly defeat by Glenavon in Northern Ireland.
“I have to take responsibility for all of it. I wasn’t 100 per cent fit at times last year but it’s down to me to put in performances when I’m not fit. Others have to do it,” he said. “Now I feel fitter, it’s up to me whether I play well or bad. I have to move forward and learn so there are no excuses.”