Templeton is tipped to be matchwinner for Hearts

FORMER Hearts defender Paul Ritchie reckons rising star David Templeton could hold the key to victory over Aberdeen this weekend.

Ritchie now lives and works in the United States as assistant coach at Carolina Railhawks but keeps a close eye on the game back in Scotland and admits that Templeton has caught his eye from afar in recent weeks.

He believes the youngster can make a major impact at Tynecastle and says Templeton has qualities which have been missing from the Hearts team for a number of years.

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Ritchie raved: "I noticed that he won the Young Player of the Month award for November and I think it was very much deserved.

"I've been impressed with him. He is a cracking young player. He certainly deserves his place in the side.

"I think that working under Jim, Billy and Lockie will give him everything that he needs to become a top player and he could be the player to cause Aberdeen all the problems this weekend.

"He is a strong little character, some people say that he is a bit on the slight side, but what he lacks in height and power, he more than makes up for in other areas."

Meanwhile, the Tynecastle club were working around the clock in a bid to ensure this weekend's game against the Dons goes ahead.

Heavy snow and ice caused guttering to fall from the main stand into the dug-out area and a snow-clearing operation is underway at the ground. Any remaining loose parts of guttering will be removed today before the city council carries out a safety inspection to decide if the match can go ahead.