Hearts manager Craig Levein has delivered a fitness update on new signing Joel Pereira.
The goalkeeper joined on loan from Manchester United earlier this summer. He has since played twice for the Jambos, but missed Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Hamilton through injury.
Levein has said when Jambos fans can expect to see the Portuguese stopper back in action.
He told the Daily Record: “Joel will be okay for Motherwell. He had a slight strain in the Celtic game. He’s gone from playing reserve football at Man United to being thrown into first-team training and matches in quick succession, so he’s just got a little bit of a thigh strain from kicking.
“I’m hopeful that will settle down and he’ll be ready for Motherwell.”
Pereira is Hearts’ number one now
His inclusion in the League Cup match against Motherwell was an indicator, but this confirms who Hearts’ number one goalkeeper is.
Pereira looked fairly comfortable in the cup match at Fir Park, albeit he had a few shaky moments. Against Celtic though his kicking was frantic and he didn’t command his box very well.
Perhaps the occasion got to him that day, but it still seems as though Levein has plenty of faith in Pereira. He’ll still be adapting to the Scottish game, so he needs time to allow that to happen.
It sends out a clear message to Colin Doyle and Zdenek Zlamal though. Doyle signed a new deal recently, but that doesn’t look to have guaranteed regular football.
Zlamal’s position is unclear, with the 33-year-old looking like third choice at Tynecastle. Perhaps he’ll have his eye on a move come January.
Still, it seems as though Levein is optimistic about his Portuguese stopper making the Motherwell clash next week.