Dale Carrick in line to replace Michael Ngoo

On standby: Dale Carrick. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
On standby: Dale Carrick. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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DALE CARRICK is poised to start for Hearts against Dundee today if injury precludes Michael Ngoo. The on-loan Liverpool forward has a shoulder problem and, although manager Gary Locke is hopeful he will play, 19-year-old Carrick is on standby.

Ngoo has formed a productive partnership with John Sutton in recent weeks, emphasised by the two combining for Hearts’ winning goal at Kilmarnock last weekend. However, Ngoo was withdrawn after 49 minutes of the match clutching his shoulder and was replaced by Carrick.

The Englishman was unable to train during the first half of the week because of the problem and Carrick will take his place in the starting line-up today if he is ruled out. Locke explained that he is keen to see the teenager convert some of the scoring chances he gets inside the penalty area.

“Dale did well when he came on last week and that’s what we want, competition for places,” said Locke. “We don’t want anyone at this club thinking they’re guaranteed to play every well. Dale came on and probably should have scored with a couple of chances.

“One of the things we’re trying to get through to him is to be a bit more greedy in the box. He’s a young lad, very enthusiastic, and that will come. Hopefully next season we will see him chipping in with one or two goals.”