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Published : 21 Feb 2013 15:50:29
Hearts loss could be Houston Dynamo gain as Andy Driver hopes to impress enough for a cap
Andy Driver is clinging to the hope that his move to MLS' Houston Dynamo will improve his chances of getting a call from national manager Gordon Strachan. Driver is leaving Tynecastle after almost a decade as he signed up as a schoolboy. He has has bother with injures over the last couple of years and he believes his back at the level of form which saw him first break into the Hearts first team in 2006. Driver was born near Oldham but spent the majority of his childhood living in Gullane, East Lothian. Although capped by England at under-21 level, he pledged his future to Scotland, prompting the SFA to convince FIFA to make a change in eligibility rules to allow youngsters schooled in a country to play for the national team. Driver has yet to benefit from this change but is ever hopeful. Driver said: "Am I thinking about a Scotland call-up? It doesn't matter where you are playing, if you are doing as well as you can, there is always the thought of that. But I can't concentrate on that. I can only concentrate on moving out there. I've got to go and put in a lot of hard work. Over the last couple of years, I did miss a lot of football, so I feel I'm nowhere near my potential yet. Now I've got a great club and great surroundings to go and put that work in and improve as a player." Hearts manager John McGlynn has already suggested Driver leaving the club was a direct consequence of the significant financial worries that continue to hinder the Gorgie club. Fans have rallied round to buy shares to help the club complete their 2012-13 commitments. The news that club owner Vladimir Romanov's Lithuanian bank Ukio Bankas was declared insolvent this week has not helped matters. However, Driver, who has played under seven managers in as many years since making his first-team debut, is confident Hearts are too big a club to go under. He said: "There has been lots of ups and lots of downs but as a person it's made me stronger. It's been entertaining - there's never a dull moment here. There's been some strange times too - I remember one January transfer window, 11 guys signed, so we had a whole new team. We had to make new benches for them in the changing room. So there's been some crazy things like that. But the most important thing is that the club is heading in the right direction. They are starting to steady the boat. The way the fans have come out and helped the club this year shows how big a club this really is. Now everybody can look forward to a bright future. There is always going to be fears. There are fears for everybody at the moment the way the country and the world is. But the club is always going to be there. The way the fans have rallied round shows that. But you need that fear to prevent it. Without that fear, no-one would do anything to prevent it from going to the wall."