Hearts must do January transfer business quickly due to Craig Gordon and Craig Halkett injuries, says Michael Stewart

MICHALE STEWART has urged Hearts to be quick off the mark in the January transfer market in order to aid their ailing squad.

Craig Gordon and Craig Halkett both looked to be out with long-term injuries following today’s draw with Dundee United.


Craig Gordon lhad to leave the pitch on a stretcher after breaking his legCredit: Willie Vass

Gordon has suffered a broken leg while Halkett left the pitch with a knee issue.

Stephen Kingsley is also out again, this time with a head knok.

Zander Clark replaced Gordon in between the sticks but the more concering area is in defence, as the Jambos were forced to finish the game with three left-footed centre-backs in their back three.

In order to go toe-to-toe with Celtic and Hibs in the coming days, and beyond, Stewart reckons Robbie Neilson needs reinforcements brought in ASAP.

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Speaking on BBC Sportscene, the former Hearts and Hibs midfielder said: “It’s a bad day for Hearts. You see some of those instances with Steven Fletcher, great play, but also defensively for Hearts they missed Halkett. Right-sided centre half out the game early with an injury. It looked like a bad one with his knee. They had three centre halves playing in the back three all left-footed and the balance isn’t there.

“Halkett is out with what looked like a bad one, Kingsley got a head knock and Craig Gordon’s got a very serious leg injury so all in all, a good point but long term they need to be doing some quick business in January to strengthen the squad.”

Stewart also backed up the VAR calls during the game.

Tannadice punters claimed for a handball on Hearts’ Arnoud Djoum but there was nothing doing in the eyes of the officials.

The second incident he referred to was the one involving Gordon and Fletcher that led to the Scotland goalie being carted off on the stretcher.

Stewart said: “They end up being the right decisions for me.

“Arnaud Djoum has fallen down on top of the ball, is his arm on the ground supporting him? Probably not but he just falls on top of it so for me it shouldn’t be a penalty kick.

“I just think it probably took a bit too long but certainly as soon as I saw it I just though ‘it’s not a penalty.”

Elaborating on the second incident, Stewart said: “Like Robbie, you can see where the ball goes to the side that Craig’s got something on the ball.

“I think it’s extremely difficult to penalise either Steven Fletcher or Craig Gordon in an instance where two guys are committed going for the ball, there is nothing between then, there’s marginally one in front of the other. The other one can’t just disappear. Unfortunately in football sometimes you’re going to get a collision between two players.

“On this occasion Craig’s got the ball first so there can’t be any ambiguity about it and he’s been clattered and it’s a very, very bad injury.

“Slight credit to the referee here. In particular with the Arnaud Djoum one he could easily have just stuck with it and said ‘no, it’s a penalty. Because we’ve seen penalties given for handballs that are a lot more ridiculous than that. So from that side of things the referee changing his decision twice was a positive, but it took too long.”

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