John Souttar backed for Rangers role by confident Hearts team-mates

Hearts travel through to Ibrox this Sunday and while there are some who will feel that Rangers-bound John Souttar should be omitted from the line-up even if his latest injury clears up, his team-mates would have no worries about his inclusion.

Souttar was one of those missing from the squad which drew 0-0 with Hibs at Easter Road on Tuesday night but Taylor Moore has said that no-one within the squad would be worried if the Scotland international was fit and selected to play against the team he agreed a pre-contract with in January.

“I think when you are actually around him day to day at the training ground you realise how professional he is. Even until the last minute of the last hour of deadline day, he was probably focused on Hearts.

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“He is an amazing lad and I can’t speak highly enough of him. It is a situation that we are all in with him, so we are here to support him in any way or form. But I am sure that, as professional as he is, he will be fine.”

Hearts' John Souttar and Taylor Moore.  (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)Hearts' John Souttar and Taylor Moore.  (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Hearts' John Souttar and Taylor Moore. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

The Tynecastle club turned down several offers from the Glasgow side to advance his switch, as they recognised his value to ambitions to wrap up third place and attempt to close the gap on Celtic and Rangers.

A win on Sunday would help them do that. And while there are strong alternatives if Souttar does not recover in time, there is also the advantage of meeting the Ibrox side at a time when new signing from Juventus, Aaron Ramsey, is not yet up to speed.

“We definitely have that strength in depth,” said Moore. “That is credit to the club, credit to the recruitment and the way they have handled this transfer window as well, getting the boys to sign contracts. Keeping a hold of John was a massive one. We have got a lot of good players in that dressing room. The gaffer always emphasises that when one steps out the other steps in. We have got a very good group of players and we are building towards the future, that’s for sure.”

Ramsey, the Welsh international watched the Glasgow derby from the stands and may not be fit enough to start the head to head with Hearts.

Taylor Moore. (Photo by Sammy Turner / SNS Group)Taylor Moore. (Photo by Sammy Turner / SNS Group)
Taylor Moore. (Photo by Sammy Turner / SNS Group)

Which is something Moore would welcome, despite feeling that the signing is a positive one for the Scottish game.

“Of course it is. I think everyone would probably agree that the arrival of a player of that calibre is fantastic for Scottish football. But we are in a good position at the moment. We are x amount of points above Hibernian, Motherwell as well. We are not actually looking behind, we are looking forward. The manager emphasises that as well. When we have gone up against the big two, we beat Celtic early on in the season and then got a point against Rangers. In the last couple of games we fell short but we will be looking to go there and put in a performance and hopefully take some more points off them – despite the big names.”

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