Craig Halkett’s Hearts Scottish Cup Final fitness boost a relief to Ryan Stevenson who draws career comparisons

Craig Halkett’s Hearts Scottish Cup Final fitness boost a relief to Ryan Stevenson who draws career comparisons

Ryan Stevenson is relieved that Craig Halkett is seemingly profitable his Scottish Cup Final health race.

The Hearts centre again was stretchered off throughout the Jambos’ semi-final win over Hibs and appeared a serious doubt for the showpiece event on 21 May.

But Robbie Neilson has mentioned that he hopes to have the latest Scotland call-up again in time to face Rangers at Hampden.

Stevenson solely performed in a single cup remaining throughout his profession, scoring twice because the Jambos misplaced 3-2 to St Mirren within the 2013 League Cup.

He’s delighted it appears like Halkett has an opportunity to expertise one other one for himself, and he hailed the defender’s psychological power for constructing a profession after teenage rejection by his Hampden opponents.

He wrote in his Daily Record column: “I feared the worst when the defender was stretchered off with that ankle damage in Hearts semi-final victory over Hibs.

“I believed it could have robbed him of a return go to to Hampden, which might have been horrible for a man who I maintain within the highest regard.

“In my 20-year profession I made just one cup remaining – the 2013 League Cup when Hearts misplaced to St Mirren – so no one has to inform me as of late don’t come round too typically for most mavens.

“It could be an enormous blow for Halkett to overlook it however equally onerous for Neilson to take as a result of he’s been Hearts’ finest defender this season. That is to take nothing away from John Souttar, who’s been excellent as nicely, however the Jambos miss Halkett extra when he’s out.

“I love him not only for his potential, which is massively underrated. He is a seven or eight out of 10 each week and given he’s so constant, he may be taken a bit with no consideration – not by his supervisor or team-mates although.

“What I actually like is the psychological power Halkett has proven to construct a profession after spending years attempting to make the breakthrough at Rangers earlier than being launched and having to begin from scratch.

“Some knuckle down and construct a profession elsewhere. Others drift away, their expertise misplaced to disillusionment.

“I do know. I used to be almost certainly one of them.

Ryan Stevenson

“Although my issues had been self-inflicted. At 13 I left house for Chelsea enjoying beneath Steve Clarke and Jim Duffy of their youth set-up.

“I used to be staying in digs with John Terry and cleansing boots of gamers resembling Gianfranco Zola, which was the norm for “apprentices” again within the day. For some time it was nice however at 17 I got here house to Ayrshire one Christmas, noticed my mates enjoying for enjoyable, simply having fun with their lives, and I wished a little bit of that. When I returned to London I used to be sad, not realising for a minute simply how fortunate I used to be.

“I advised Chelsea I wished out they usually lastly launched me in May 2002 – nearly 20 years in the past, which is difficult to imagine.

“I believed I might come up the street and get an enormous membership no downside. Honestly my head was stuffed with nonsense.

“I went into Rangers for coaching. John Brown was the coach on the time however he mainly advised me I wasn’t adequate to make it at Ibrox, so I used to be out and will have simply walked away from the sport.

“Thankfully Billy Stark provided me a contract at St Johnstone. I made a aware choice to offer myself a number of years to make a go of it.

“That led to a few years at Ayr, which had been nice, earlier than Hearts. I labored onerous for that likelihood to signal for an ideal membership and that’s why I love Halkett a lot – as a result of he’s needed to do the identical.”

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