MacDonald: Experience would help
Jamie MacDonald admits Hearts would benefit from signing experienced players - but has faith in their youngsters.
On Friday Hearts saw their transfer embargo lifted by the Scottish Premier League after players were paid on time 24 hours earlier, but restrictions remain on who they can sign following a failure to pay outstanding bonus money. Manager John McGlynn, who has seen Australia international Ryan McGowan and back-up goalkeeper Peter Enckelman depart this month, can only sign under-21 players, who are cheaper than the departing player, on a one-in, one-out basis. McGlynn faces further, temporary problems at Parkhead with captain Marius Zaliukas and midfielder Ryan Stevenson, his most recent signing in August, suspended. Scott Robinson is out injured and fellow midfielder Mehdi Taouil is doubtful with a foot problem, while full-backs Jamie Hamill and Danny Grainger remain long-term absentees with knee injuries.
MacDonald said: "It's obviously a very difficult situation. We have got a young squad and the conditions are it's young players we are going to bring in. "I think the club could be doing with an experienced player or two. That's just the way it is.
"We have still got a good squad, it's a good crop of young players we have here." And the 26-year-old is not concerned by the reshuffle needed in defence, although Andy Webster should return from injury. "It's not a problem," he said. "The Hibs game, Dylan (McGowan) came in at centre-back and Darren Barr played right-back and kept a clean sheet.
We just get on with our job. "The boys we have got to fill in are more than capable on their day. I have full confidence in them and there is no worry.
"The young boys who have come in have done really well. Obviously results haven't been as good as we would have liked but I think performances generally have been pretty good and we have been unfortunate. "Maybe that's where experience counts, sometimes we have maybe not had the experience to hold out in games."
McGlynn predicted his Parkhead team could be among the youngest in the club's history and, with more cutbacks on the horizon, more experienced players are likely to depart before the start of next season.
MacDonald said: "Everyone is aware of that, it's a transitional period. The main thing is the club's survival.
"The club has to get self-sufficient. It's going to be difficult and next year there could be a lot of new faces but we will just have to see what happens."
Hearts fended off a winding-up order last month by paying a tax bill with the help of a £1million share issue but anticipated season expenditure exceeded income by £2million and, with McGowan and David Templeton sold this season, a sum in that region will presumably need to be cut off next season's budget.
MacDonald added: "I think the club have been working very hard to get the finances. Selling Ryan will go a long way to helping the club but I think indications are it's starting to look a lot better. "Obviously the fans raised a lot of money, which was great and we can't thank them enough. "But I think we will be okay now.
It's a case of getting to the end of the season and I think the club will be running self-sufficient. "The club have done really well because they have just been cut off all of a sudden from the funding from UBIG and I think things are starting to look a little bit brighter."
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