Ian Cathro: Jamie Walker will definitely play for Scotland

Hearts' Jamie Walker has been in outstanding form. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS

Hearts' Jamie Walker has been in outstanding form. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS

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Hearts winger Jamie Walker will definitely play for Scotland, according to his club manager Ian Cathro.

“There’s no doubt about that. It will just be when they put him in. That will happen. Nature will take care of that,” said Cathro.

The player, a product of the Tynecastle club’s youth academy, has netted seven goals in seven games, doubling his season’s tally and Cathro says that a cap for his country is inevitable.

“I see him every day. I see talent,” he said. “It might come down to the opinion of who is in charge and all those things. But, eventually, you can’t stop that level of talent. The only thing I could say is that it will happen. When it happens is for other people to shape. I don’t think there’s a player with Jamie’s talent who won’t play for Scotland.”

Cathro waxed lyrical about Walker, pictured, after he scored twice in the midweek rout of Rangers, and while he believes clubs in England and elsewhere will eventually come calling, he is in no hurry to lose him and believes that he can improve the player “quite a bit” in the interim.

While others have been talking up the qualities of James Forrest, Jonny Hayes and Barrie McKay, Cathro says he would not trade his talented 23-year-old for any of them.

“Jamie is the only one I want out of them,” the Hearts head coach said. “Fortunately he’s here. I wouldn’t swap him for any of them.

“He’s a talent. He feels the game, he understands it. He just knows. He feels when somebody is

coming in or this space opens or closes. He just feels football.

“There’s talent and there’s talent being productive. When talent is productive, nobody is going to say no to that.”

The 4-1 midweek win over Rangers was only Hearts’ second victory in seven Premiership games under Cathro but the coach

insisted that he felt no personal vindication after ending a difficult period in some style.

“Not at all,” said Cathro.

“Criticism, noise, is fine.

“What was important on Wednesday night was that the players had the opportunity to feel the release of

getting their own frustrations out and being rewarded for what was a tremendous effort,” he added.

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