Steven MacLean hopes experience can force him into Hearts’ final team

Hearts striker Steven MacLean is praying previous Scottish Cup final experience earns him a starting place against Celtic with Uche Ikpeazu struggling for fitness.

Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 6:30 am
Steven MacLean

The 36-year-old scored in St Johnstone’s 2014 cup win and was an unused substitute with Rangers back in 2003. He feels he has the composure to handle the occasion and the ability to trouble Celtic even without Ikpeazu.

The giant Englishman remains doubtful for Saturday’s final at Hampden Park due to a hamstring injury. He has yet to return to full training, with Hearts based at a St Andrew’s training camp until tomorrow.

Ikpeazu will be given every opportunity to prove his readiness but MacLean is willing to lead the forward line by himself if required.

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“I’ve been fortunate enough to play in one Scottish Cup final and be on the bench in one. Hopefully the manager will want my experience because it’s a big day,” he said.

“It’s a great experience but it’s only great if you win. You have to go and enjoy it but you also need to play the game and not the occasion.

“I’ve seen boys run their race before the game has even started. You have to be cool, enjoy it but make sure you enjoy the game by winning.”