Hearts’ preparations for Celtic opener disrupted as Jambos fail to find friendly



Hearts’ preparations for their Premiership opener against Celtic have been severely disrupted after they failed to find suitable opposition for a friendly at Tynecastle this weekend.

The Gorgie outfit were due to host Fleetwood Town on Saturday but the SkyBet League One side cancelled the fixture on Tuesday following the resignation of former Jambos captain Steven Pressley.

With just four days to find a replacement for the Cod Army, and fighting the fact most clubs already have their pre-season plans set in stone, Hearts were unable to tee up another game.

hearts2It is a major blow for Robbie Neilson’s men, who begin their league season in earnest with a testing visit from champions Celtic next Sunday.

Neilson was keen to get another 90 minutes of action under their belts against decent English opposition. Instead, they will hosts the Hoops on the back of a 17-day hiatus following their chastening Europa league exit against Birkirkara.

“Due to timescales and opposition availability, Hearts will no longer have a pre-season friendly match on Saturday,” confirmed a club spokesperson.

“The Jambos had been scheduled to play Fleetwood Town at Tynecastle but that match was called off due to circumstances beyond the club’s control.”

Meanwhile, highly-rated Hearts youngster Nikolay Todorov has joined League 2 outfit Cowdenbeath on loan until January.

The Bulgarian striker, 19, joined the Jambos in the close season following his release by Nottingham Forest and featured in friendlies against Aberdeen, Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline.

He has been farmed out in order to get first-team football under Blue Brazil boss Liam Fox, formerly under-20s coach at Hearts, and joins fellow loanee from Tynecastle Lewis Moore at the club.