Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson lavishes praise on teenagers Jordan McGhee and John Souttar



Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson watched Abiola Dauda grab the headlines at Ross County but insists teenage defenders Jordan McGhee and John Souttar deserve a special mention.

Dauda came off the bench to notched a late brace in Dingwall on Wednesday but the foundations for that 3-0 victory were laid at the back, where 19-year-old’s McGhee and Souttar, who was making his debut, formed a central defensive partnership.

McGhee produced a solid display just days after seeing a proposed move to Middlesbrough fall through

Injury to captain Alim Ozturk and suspensions to Blazej Augustyn and Igor Rossi left Neilson with no option but to play the youngsters.

Neilson said: “They’re two teenagers and the two of them did really well.

“They were outstanding, we knew it was going to be tough for them playing against David Goodwillie – a Scottish international – and Liam Boyce – a Northern Ireland internationalist – but I thought the two of them played really, those two have big futures at Hearts.”

Another 19-year-old, Liam Smith, replaced McGhee in the 83rd minute but Neilson is hoping that the injury that forced the defender off is not serious.

Neilson added: “I think he’ll be okay, he got a spasm in his back.

“I don’t know if it came from a twist or a knock. We’ll get it looked at but I don’t think it will be too big a problem.”

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