John Sutton is not taking his return to the Hearts frontline for granted

John Sutton of Hearts scored a penalty against Dunfermline in pre-season
John Sutton is back at Hearts and hitting the goal trail in pre-season.© SNS Group

Hearts striker John Sutton believes he still has to fight for his place in the Hearts team, despite an exodus of competition for his place as the team’s main striker.

The former Motherwell hitman was sent out on loan to Australian outfit Central Coast Mariners last season as he struggled to force his way into Paulo Sergio’s plans.

Now back in the capital, only Sutton and youngster Gordon Smith remain as recognised strikers at Tynecastle, with Craig Beattie, Stephen Elliott, Rudi Skacel, Kevin Kyle and Gary Glen all departing.

Sutton, 28, is not for resting on his laurels though, and has vowed that nothing has changed regarding his attitude to getting into the first team under John McGlynn.

Speaking to The Scottish Sun, Sutton, who netted in the Jambos final pre-season tie against Rotherham United on Saturday, said: “I went on loan for various reasons but before I went I said I always wanted to do well for Hearts and that’s never changed.

“I can’t go into the reasons why I was sent on loan but I don’t think it was necessarily all to do with the old manager not rating me as a player. Certainly, I didn’t get that much playing time under him but nothing has changed from the point of view I’ve still got to play very well and there’s a lot of competition for places.

“It’s nice to be back but it doesn’t count for anything yet. The real business will start next week. We got one of the cups last season and that final will go down in history but hopefully we’ll get some silverware again.”

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