Hearts manager Craig Levein explains why he opted for goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin over Jack Hamilton



Hearts manager Craig Levein admits Jon McLaughlin’s experience was a factor in handing the goalkeeper the gloves ahead of Jack Hamilton at the weekend.

McLaughlin made his debut in Saturday’s goal-less draw with Aberdeen and produced an assured display in a team performance that was full of encouragement on Levein’s return to the dugout.

Scotland squad shot-stopper Hamilton began the campaign in possession of the jersey, making eight appearances.

But Levein insists he had no hesitation in starting with 29-year-old former Bradford and Burton Albion keeper McLaughlin.

Levein said: “I thought Jon was excellent in goals. Jack started the season fairly well actually, I’ve been quite pleased with him.

“But I just felt on Saturday that it was another challenge playing in front of 25,000, a stadium where it’s supposed to be a home game but it’s not.

“Jon is experienced and seen a lot more in his career and done a lot more, so for me that was a fairly obvious decision.”

Levein also handed a maiden appearance to deadline day recruit Ross Callachan and the former Raith Rovers captain justified his inclusion in the side with a dynamic midfield outing for his boyhood heroes.

Winger David Milinkovic came on in the second half after joining on loan last Thursday from Italian Serie A side Genoa.


Levein added: “Ross was excellent, I thought he was perpetual motion in midfield, he did a lot of really good things with the ball and even more good things without it.

“David came on and gave us a spark.”

Hearts begin a run of four straight away games at Hamilton on Saturday before returning to Murrayfield to take on St Johnstone on October 21.