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Craig Gordon: I always had an eye on Hearts’ international record

The goalkeeper has won more Scotland caps while at Tynecastle than anyone else.

Craig Gordon: I always had an eye on Hearts’ international record SNS Group
Gordon doesn't mind who Scotland draw in the play-offs.

Hearts star Craig Gordon says he is “immensely proud” of breaking a club record and has achieved a goal he set when he returned to the club.

The goalkeeper played a crucial role as Scotland beat Moldova and Denmark to ensure a place as seeds in the World Cup play-off. But as well as playing a role in the team’s success, Gordon also achieved a personal landmark.

The cap against Denmark was his 33rd as a Hearts player, surpassing the record set by Steven Pressley.

Gordon, who has made 64 international appearances overall, revealed that he had been eyeing that record since returning to his first club after leaving Celtic in 2020.

“I’m immensely proud,” he said. “When I came back here it was something that I had an eye on, that I could possibly get to that mark and surpass it.

“It was always one of my goals and I thought it might take me a little bit longer. To get back in the squad and then back in for a few games and be part of a campaign that’s been very successful up until now has been very enjoyable.

“The number of caps that’s come along has been very pleasing also.”

The Scotland squad now look ahead to Friday’s play-off draw to learn who they will face in the semi-final, knowing that a win in the match at Hampden would put them just one game away from the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

Gordon says he doesn’t have a preference as to who the team will face but expects a tough test in any case.

“We’ve got [potentially] two very difficult games and they’re going to be against teams that have done well in their group or Nations League,” he said. “It’s against other teams that are winning and it is going to be very difficult.

“We’ve given ourselves that chance, with the first game at Hampden as well so we can only look at that one, try and win that, and look beyond that if we get through it.

“They’ve all done well in their respective groups and they’re in form regardless. It’s still a little bit away, four or five months, but certainly we’ll be taking an interest in who we get and I’m sure the planning will start immediately.”

The Hearts captain was speaking at an event to promote a foodbank collection this weekend for club charity Big Hearts. Gordon believes it’s crucial that the club are a positive force within their community and that everyone does what they can at a time when many people are struggling.

“It’s vitally important,” he said. “We have to really show the way.

“This stadium’s in a relatively poor area in terms of Edinburgh. It’s where the club was formed and where it’s based and to give a little back around the area is good.

“It’s good for the players to know that but also for the club and the fans to really get behind this ad really make a difference.

“Now is the most important time, really. It’s something that the club have done in previous years but it’s important now more than ever that we do what we can for the people in the surrounding areas.”