Grainger won't rest on laurels at Hearts

HEARTS' new signing Danny Grainger today admitted he failed to apply himself properly with Dundee United earlier in his career and pledged never to rest on laurels at Tynecastle.

The 24-year-old has signed a two-year contract after leaving St Johnstone and is determined to challenge Lee Wallace for the left-back position. He can also play in midfield and at centre-back and is keen to impose himself at the top level after taking things for granted at United three years ago.

"I think I took my foot off the gas when I was at Dundee United and it hit me hard," he told the Evening News. "I ended up losing my place in the team and I had to leave to get regular football. I won't let that happen again. I'll never rest on my laurels.

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"At St Johnstone, I was the only left-back so I was always likely to play but I never once took my foot off the gas and I won't do it here. I know I've got a hard job getting Lee out of the team but it's a challenge I'm looking forward to.

"I've played wide left and I've played centre-back. To be at a club like Hearts, I'll play wherever the manager wants me to play.

"In my eyes, Lee is possibly the best Scottish left-back at the moment, so it's a big task for me. I'm just keen to get into training and seeing what I can do."

Hearts' prospects of signing another experienced SPL defender, Zander Diamond, could become clearer following talks between manager Jim Jefferies and medical staff today. Hearts are concerned about an ankle problem Diamond had two years ago which was spotted during his medical examination. However, the Aberdeen player denies there is any issue and stressed he is fully fit.

"There is nothing wrong with the ankle. I played 42 competitive games on it last season," said Diamond. "I've played 60-plus games since my ankle operation 18 months ago and I've had no problems.

"I had a medical and scans last week and the surgeon said I was clinically fine. The surgeon did extensive work on the ankle and said it's perfect. He didn't even raise a concern. There are two small pieces of metal like paperclips in the ankle which held a dissolvable thread in place.

"They are not causing me any problems and they're only still in there because it's more hassle than it's worth to take them out. I was hoping to get it sorted before I went on holiday but it seems to have stalled. I'm bemused by it all.

"But I've told Hearts that I'm willing to fly back from holiday to do whatever tests they want on the ankle. As soon as Hearts first became interested in March, I was keen on the move. I am still positive that the deal will happen. It's a new start for me."