News on Hearts teen Finlay Pollock's future as manager Robbie Neilson hails Craig Gordon's shutout record

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson applauded goalkeeper Craig Gordon and teenage midfielder Finlay Pollock after the Premier Sports Cup win over Cove Rangers.

Robbie Neilson was pleased with Hearts against Cove Rangers.
Robbie Neilson was pleased with Hearts against Cove Rangers.

Gordon set a new club record of nine successive clean sheets in the 3-0 win, which came courtesy of goals from Andy Halliday, Liam Boyce and Gary Mackay-Steven.

Pollock was a standout in midfield despite being just 17 years old and showed why he is one of the most promising players to emerge from the Riccarton youth academy.

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Gordon, 38, beat Jon McLaughlin’s previous Hearts record of eight consecutive shutouts, achieved during season 2017/18.

He will now look to extend that run to ten against Stirling Albion next week, and possibly even 11 against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the final Group A fixture.

“I’m delighted for Craig to break the record, it is some achievement,” said Neilson. “We have had some unbelievable keepers here in the past but it is fully deserved.

“He has been fantastic last season and you can see the quality he brings to the team.

“I was pleased and overall the game was good. In the first 15 minutes we were a bit slack but we settled down and we were comfortable. Cove played well and caused us a few problems but I’m delighted.

“Finlay has been great through pre-season and he was about the squad at the end of the season.

“He came in during the summer and it’s credit to him and the staff who came in over the close season to get him ready. We are seeing the benefits of that now.”

Hearts had intended sending Pollock out on loan this season to ensure he gets more experience of senior football. However, due to his performances at the end of last season and this term so far, Neilson is now considering a rethink.

“Some young boys will go out on loan so they need to go and play games but we are still to make a decision on Finlay but he will probably stay,” added the manager.

Hearts also handed a senior debut to another 17-year-old midfielder, Aidan Denholm, as a substitute against Cove.

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