BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Hearts winger Jamie Walker has scored twice in three games since his comeback from injury but insists he will have to be patient as he bids to return to full fitness.
The 22-year-old spent over three months out with a persistent knee problem that eventually saw him undergo surgery to remove a piece of ‘floating’ bone in December.
The former Scotland under-21 cap had enjoyed an impressive start to the campaign but was sidelined in the wake of the 2-1 League Cup defeat to Celtic on October 28.
He made his return as a substitute in the recent Scottish Cup draw with Hibernian and has since started three consecutive matches.
Goals in the 3-0 win over Ross County and in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Dundee United – a magnificent strike after superb close control – have hinted he is back to his best.
However, the player himself believes he still has some way to go.
He said: “I’ve been out a long time and I’m still trying to get back up to match speed, which is taking a while.
“But I’m glad I scored (against United) and I thought I’d got us something, but it wasn’t to be.”
Meanwhile, head coach Robbie Neilson, who insists referee Kevin Clancy’s decision to red card Jordan McGhee five minutes from the interval at Tannadice was ‘shocking’, has urged his side to ‘move on’ from the loss ahead of the visit of Kilmarnock on Saturday.
Neilson is adamant the Tynecastle men should have won on Tayside, lamenting a late chance for Abiola Dauda, but has backed his players to recover from the blow of losing against United and in the Scottish Cup replay against Hibs.
He said: “We’ve got good belief, we have, and we knew, with the situation Dundee United are in, under pressure, that even at 1-0 up they would feel that pressure.
“We got a goal back and we dominated the game.
“We created a couple of chances and we had a great one with Abi, when he was down the left and should square, but he doesn’t do it.
“But it’s three points dropped again and we’ll just have to move on.
“The boys are devastated but they’ll just need to get on with it, they’ll need to keep working and try and get ourselves back for the Kilmarnock game.”