Former Scotland manager Gordon Strachan reckons Hearts will be safe from relegation this season- if four of their injured stars return quickly.
The Jambos suffered another defeat in their last game, losing 2-0 to Celtic. It was a disappointing scoreline but overall the performance levels were much better than they have been in recent weeks.
They sit in the precarious position of joint-bottom with Hamilton, who they face this weekend. Strachan reckons that whilst they sit in the relegation zone just now, the return of four injured stars in Steven Naismith, Peter Haring, John Souttar and Conor Washington will keep them up.
As quoted by the Herald, he said: “I think if they get the four players back, they’ve not got a problem. Seriously. They’re that big, that four. They’ll get a victory and they’ll start winning.”
Stendel does need main men back
It’s undisputed how much injury has hampered Hearts this season. Yes, on the whole it has not been anywhere near good enough, but the fitness battles haven’t helped them. They’ve missed players like the four Strachan references for prolonged spells already.
Haring, Naismith and Souttar are especially big blows. They have the influence and quality that is lacking right now in Daniel Stendel’s Jambos team. Washington meanwhile looked promising in early appearances before picking up a long-term injury.
They’ll likely be without all four again this weekend as the Jambos prepare for a big battle against Hamilton. A win for either side will send the other bottom over Christmas.
It’s a situation Stendel will be eager to avoid.