John McGlynn keeps faith with Callum Paterson ahead of Dens Park game
HE IS old school, is John McGlynn. The Hearts manager is one of those traditionalists who believes that if you are good enough, you’re old enough.
That is certainly his view of Callum Paterson who turned 18 less than three weeks ago but who has been handed assignments normally allocated to much older players, including playing in every league match for Hearts this season. In addition, Paterson has played as a right-back, midfielder and striker, and has impressed with his aptitude and commitment in each role, scoring his third goal of the season at Tannadice during Wednesday’s Scottish Communities League Cup quarter-final.
Yet surely someone of his tender years should be brought along carefully, even mollycoddled? Not a bit of it, says McGlynn,
“Callum has done really well, why would you take one of your better players out of the team?” said McGlynn. “If I was on the Dundee United bench and he wasn’t playing, I’d be relieved. He scored twice at Tannadice the last time and now he’s scored a third. It’s in the mindset as a manager when you’re picking a team, whether they’d fancy playing against certain players. Would Sean Dillon fancy chasing him all day?”
Asked if Paterson might suffer from teenage “burnout”, McGlynn quipped: “I’ve put someone up alongside him to ease the workload!”
That someone was John Sutton in a re-cast 4-4-2 formation that not a few Hearts fans wanted to see from the beginning of the season. Sutton is an admirer of his young colleague: “Myself and Callum have played a couple of times together up front, usually when we have been chasing the game. He has good ability, is very energetic and, the more we play together, hopefully there can be a good relationship there.”
The Englishman doesn’t worry about the numbers game: “It’s not always about the formation, it is about how you play. I’m not sure whether it matters that there is two strikers – it’s about whether you are winning games and, as a striker, getting chances and getting shots on goal, that is the priority.”
McGlynn has made a virtue of the fact that Hearts are underendowed in the striking department, especially now that Rudi Skacel has finally gone.
He said: “It would have been very easy to come here and keep the status quo. We lost players and never really added to it. Csaba Laszlo played with one striker as did Jim Jefferies, although he played two sometimes, and Paulo Sergio played with one striker. You come to a football club that only has two strikers left so if you start 4-4-2 and one gets injured where do you go? And what happens if one is having a nightmare and one is injured? So it was quite easy to continue with one striker. You could argue it’s three up front because you’ve got two wide players getting forward.
“Hearts won the Scottish Cup final with one striker and scored five goals in that game. The last time we were at Tannadice we scored three goals and played with one striker. But it was getting more frustrating at the amount of chances we created and didn’t take so we tried something slightly different on Wednesday. It would be open to debate whether that was the difference or not. It just means we can change system. It gives us the choice.”
Today’s match against Dundee at Dens Park gives Hearts the chance for revenge on the side which inflicted a 1-0 defeat on them at Tynecastle early in September.
McGlynn has a degree of sympathy for Dundee who are anchored at the foot of the SPL table with just four points, three of them gained in that win over Hearts.
“It’s been awkward for Dundee,” said McGlynn. “They were building a team for the First Division and got a late chance to go into the SPL. It’s different building a team to win the First Division compared to one competing in the SPL, as has been seen.
“However, we can’t feel too sympathetically towards them because we’ve got to make amends for the game we lost at Tynecastle earlier in the season. We lost a goal early in that match and it gave them something to fight for and we missed a penalty. Loads of things went against us that day which resulted in us not scoring.
“Dundee have only taken one point outwith that win which doesn’t make pretty reading for them but we’ve got to focus on ourselves.”
Hearts will have to do without Ryan Stevenson who has not recovered from the concussion he suffered against Dundee United. McGlynn said that the player was very keen to play, but the club very sensibly has ruled him out.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west