HEARTS goalkeeper Neil Alexander admits he will be delighted if the squad is augmented by the two players who featured as trialists in Saturday’s 3-0 win at East Fife.
East Fife 0-3 Hearts
Scorers: Hearts - Buaben (24), Oliver (34), Sow (59)
Former Dundee United midfielder Prince Buaben – in his third outing for the Tynecastle outfit – looks set to sign a one-year deal in the coming days after impressing head coach Robbie Neilson.
Alexander, who also acts as the goalkeeping coach, believes former Crystal Palace team-mate Osman Sow could be exactly what the team are looking for in attack.
The Swede netted the third in Methil and his all-round performance earned a standing ovation from the travelling supporters when he was replaced in the second half.
The 6ft 4in forward linked well with Gary Oliver and looked comfortable with the ball at his feet.
Alexander was at Selhurst Park with Sow last season and would be delighted if the 24-year-old follows him to Gorgie.
Alexander said: “Big Oz was injured for the first part of last season. But I played alongside him in training, 21s games and reserve games.
“He is a good, big lad and he wants to work hard and improve. He’s lacking a bit of match sharpness but I thought he did really well considering that was his first game. He has loads of ability and lots of enthusiasm.
“We’re looking for someone to hold up the ball and bring the other players into play and help us create things up front. I thought he played well, really well.
“It was a fantastic reception when he went off. It just goes to show when you go on and give 100 per cent, the fans appreciate that and I thought he worked his backside off. He got his reward with a goal. he was a wee bit rusty but there is more to come from him.”
Neilson admitted after the game that Buaben, who was with Carlisle last season, is on the verge of signing a 12-month deal.
Alexander is excited about the prospect of the former Dundee United Scottish Cup winning midfield partnership of Morgaro Gomis and Bauben being reunited at Tynecastle on a permanent basis.
Friends off the park, the pair displayed what seemed like a telepathic understanding on Saturday.
Alexander added: “I thought they were fantastic. The two of them have a great understanding and they bounce off each other.
“They cover each other and it’s a great partnership. If we can keep them fit for the whole of the season they will be a fantastic pairing for us.”
Sow’s opening trial game for Hearts did not all go to plan after he hit a woeful free kick 20 yards from goal that nearly hit the corner flag during the early exchanges.
The towering forward, who failed to make an appearance during his season-long stint at Selhurst Park, played his part in the opening goal after 24 minutes when Billy King’s shot from Sow’s lay-off came back off the post, leaving Buaben to slot the rebound into the net.
Oliver headed in a second from King’s corner in the 34th minute before Sow dispossessed dithering goalkeeper Allan Fleming to find the net in the 59th minute.
Speaking about the two trialists, Neilson added: “We’re speaking to Prince’s agent and he has a year on the table just now. Hopefully we can get something done by Monday or Tuesday.
“Osman is being assessed. We had heard some reports on him and he was put forward to us.
“I just wanted to get him here and have a look at him in the flesh, and see what kind of character he is too.”
East Fife player/manager Gary Naysmith said: “Overall, I am quite happy with the performance. Even though we’ve lost our last three games, they’ve been against Fulham, St Johnstone and Hearts.”
East Fife: Fleming, Mullen, S Smith (Naysmith 73), Moyes, Campbell, Walker (Honeyman), Austin (McAleer 55), Brown (Barr 27), McShane (Campbell 66), K Smith (Maskrey84), Beaton (Wooley 73)
Substitutes not used: Rooney
Hearts: Alexander, Paterson, Wilson, Ozturk, McHattie (Henderson 79), King (Flanagan 79), Gomis (McKirdy 79), Buaben (Scott 79), Nicholson (Smith 79), Sow (Carrick 72), Oliver (Buchanan 79)
Substitutes not used: Hamilton