Hearts V Inverness CT at Tynecastle Stadium : Match Preview

29 February 2016 07:34
Hearts V Inverness CT - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Gavin Reilly prepared to step up to the mark for Hearts

Gavin Reilly insists he will confidently step up to the mark if Hearts are awarded a penalty in their Ladbrokes Premiership meeting with Inverness.

Jamie Walker had his spot-kick saved by Kilmarnock keeper Jamie MacDonald at Tynecastle on Saturday, scoring the only goal of the game from the rebound, before a second penalty brought another MacDonald save from Abiola Duada late in the second half.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson does not believe in having a designated penalty taker, but Reilly will "definitely" offer his services if they are required.

The 22-year-old striker told Press Association Sport: "I would like to say that if there are any penalties while I was on the pitch I would be happy to take them.

"Jamie had scored against Kilmarnock the last time they played and he took the penalty and missed but got the rebound and I was off the pitch for the second one.

"I've hit penalties before this season, missed one unfortunately and scored one, and at Queen of the South I hit two in penalty shoot-outs.

"So I would like to think that I have got good confidence to step up and take it.

"You have to be confident to step up from 12 yards with all the fans behind you and take the penalty.

"I watched the Manchester City and Liverpool final on Sunday and to be honest a lot of them didn't look confident stepping up.

"That is a much bigger stage than the Premiership but at the end of the day you have to be confident of putting the ball away."

Callum Paterson (shoulder) will be assessed and defender Jordan McGhee returns from suspension after missing the visit of Killie.

Hearts are nine points behind second-placed Aberdeen with a game in hand and Neilson is looking to move closer to the Dons when Caley visit Tynecastle.

He said: "We are aiming up. We are in a decent position but we want to get higher and as close as we can to Aberdeen.

"Inverness have been up and down, they had a lot of injuries at the start of the season but they are starting to push on now."

Inverness boss John Hughes, meanwhile, admits if he was James Vincent or Danny Williams he would make the switch to Dundee this summer - because the Dens Park deal offered to the pair is too good to turn down.

Midfielder Vincent and winger Williams are top of Dark Blues boss Paul Hartley's wishlist and the Caley Thistle pair have both been offered pre-contracts.

Hughes has not given up hope of tempting his men to stay for longer - but admits he cannot compete with the money on offer from Tayside.

Asked to confirm if Dundee had made contact with the duo, Hughes joked: "That's 100 per cent right and I'm going to drive them down there this moment because for the money Dundee are offering, I would be down there signing for it too.

"That's just part and parcel of the game. Who says we're not talking to players, that we don't have one or two pre-contracts signed up ourselves?

"One thing I will say is that I don't think we can match the finances that - if what I am hearing is true - Dundee are wanting to give the players."

Club captain Richie Foran (calf) remains unavailable while Alex Fisher (ankle), Josh Meekings and James Vincent (both knee) are all doubts for the Tynecastle clash.

Hughes also has other worries ahead of the trip - namely the frequency with which hosts Hearts are handed penalties by referees.

Don Robertson dished out two during the Jambos 1-0 Premiership win over Kilmarnock at the weekend and Hughes urged Tuesday's official Alan Muir to stay steely-eyed in the face of pressure from the Gorgie crowd.

"Tynecastle is a fantastic arena to play your football in," he said. "But somebody told me that Hearts have had 15 penalties this year. I saw the two they got on Saturday but for me, I'm not too sure they were penalty kicks."

Source: PAR

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