Brighton and Hove Albion loanee Alex Cochrane can play in three different positions for Hearts, according to manager Robbie Neilson.

The left-back filled in for Stephen Kingsley at centre-back during Hearts’ 2-1 Scottish Premiership win against St Mirren on Saturday. Cochrane has impressed since arriving on loan from English Premier League club Brighton and Neilson thinks he ‘stood up’ to the challenge of Saints duo Eamonn Brophy and Curtis Main well.

Brighton & Hove Albion U21 v Newport County - Trophy

Cochrane arrived from Brighton earlier this summer. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

He said: “Alex Cochrane stood up to the physicality of Brophy and Main. He can play left-centre-back, left-wing-back and left-back, and he’s just learning the game. I thought he was very good as, in my opinion, the two St Mirren strikers are one of the best pairings in the league because they work so well together. It’s hard to play against.”

Hearts have won six games on the spin, now heading to Celtic for a last 16 Premier Sports Cup in the Premiership’s top three. Neilson added: “I’ve been pleased with the start to the season but I keep emphasising to the players that it’s only a start. We’ve had a really good League Cup campaign which allows us to go to Celtic Park next Sunday.

“We’ve now had two good results in the league and I said to the boys before the game that we haven’t won here since 2010. That shows it’s a very difficult place to come to and get the three points. I’m delighted we managed to do that. We knew there would be times they would have the ball and we would need to press them.”

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