Gary Mackay: Give Peter Haring a new deal - Hearts missed him more than people realised

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Austrian midfielder is such an influential figure.

I would absolutely give Peter Haring a new deal to keep him at Hearts. If there are no concerns with his physical fitness, then that one-year option on his contract needs to be activated. He understands what playing for Hearts is about, he understands what playing in the Scottish Premiership is about, and I think he just gets his role.

He was the biggest single factor in Saturday's 6-1 victory over Ross County, in my opinion. When you aren't in the team, you are sometimes missed more than people realise. Peter has been out for six months but he is a seven-out-of-ten player every week for Hearts. He's just so consistent. Him and Cammy Devlin gave the more creative attacking players a platform to shine because they were so solid in front of the back four.

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I think Peter gets what is required in that holding midfield area. You need to show you are competitive, winning second balls and protecting your two centre-backs. That is especially vital when you are playing with a four-man defence having gone with three at the back for a long period this season.

I thought Peter did exceptionally well and hopefully he can contribute between now and the end of the season. I'm sure he is now firmly in the plans of Steven Naismith and I'm confident he can continue to show his worth to Hearts over the last five games. If we are to qualify for Europe, whether it be through finishing third or fourth, then I reckon Peter will play a big part in that achievement.

It shows the potential in the Hearts squad. The majority of supporters going along on Saturday, myself included, wouldn’t have expected some of the guys in the starting line-up to be there. The change in shape and personnel helped. The opposition on the day was a factor because that is as poor as I’ve seen Ross County, but Hearts made them look poor.

We keep saying about starting games on the front foot. That’s what happened. Hearts pummelled County into submission and the fans got right behind them. We were forcing corners early on and that sometimes makes the opposition think: ‘Jeez, it’s only a matter of time here.’ Ultimately, that’s how it panned out.