Hearts boss Robbie Neilson makes Craig Gordon claim and updates on Michael Smith injury

Craig Gordon can be Hearts and Scotland No.1 until he is 42-years-old, believes his club manager Robbie Neilson.

Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon kept another clean sheet in the Edinburgh derby. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

The 38-year-old goalkeeper is in a rich vein of form and displayed all of his undoubted ability with a string of fine saves in Sunday’s 0-0 Edinburgh derby draw with Hibs.

Gordon’s club form has been so good since returning to Hearts in the summer of 2020 after being released by Celtic that he has reclaimed his place in the Scotland squad and is now Steve Clarke’s first choice. Gordon played in all three of the recent World Cup qualifiers, keeping clean sheets against Moldova and Austria.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

"To be honest, if he stays injury free, I see him staying there for the next couple of years,” said Neilson on Gordon’s status as the country’s best goalkeeper. “There are a couple of younger ones coming through but they are not at the level Craig is at.

“He looks after himself and he's a great character. He's not got a lot of miles on the clock because he had an injury earlier in his career and I think Craig's got another two, three, maybe four years in him.”

Neilson also issued an update on Michael Smith, who had to be replaced midway through the second half. The right-back was carrying a knock picked up on international duty with Northern Ireland and Neilson was just pleased to get some game-time out of him.

“He's got a wee niggle in his thigh,” said Neilson. “We knew we'd get 60, 70 minutes out of him and then we'd take him off. He now just rests up and gets ready for next week.”

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.