Hearts head coach Frankie McAvoy has hailed the quality of new loan signing Alex Lowry after the midfielder made his debut during Saturday’s 2-0 victory over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.
The 20-year-old, who only signed from Rangers on Friday, was constantly involved during a half-hour cameo and played a part in Lawrence Shankland’s second goal as Hearts wrapped up the game.
Yutaro Oda’s composed low finish had put the Tynecastle side in front with 15 minutes to go as they secured an impressive victory to start their campaign.
McAvoy said: “You can see he’s got a bit of quality. We knew that. He’s coming from a massive club in Rangers as well.
“We’re delighted that he wanted to come here which was pleasing. He had a lot of options on the table and he chose to come here which is credit to him. He had the chance to go down south but he felt like we play in the right manner.
“He felt as though he could add something in terms of us playing. You could see that. We used him in a few positions. In the 10 position and in the pockets where he can bring that creativity to try and unlock defences.
“Sometimes it’s difficult when teams defend and it’s difficult to break them down but he’s got that wee bit of quality which adds to our squad.
“Even for the goal, he’s got that bit of intelligence where he can play a looped pass for (Liam) Boyce who unselfishly plays across to (Lawrence) Shankland to finish.
“We know we’re getting a good young player. What we need to be mindful of is that we don’t put him under too much pressure where he’s the guy who has got to go and win games all the time because that’s not the case. We’re a team – not individuals – and he will fit in well.”
St Johnstone boss Steven MacLean also had new faces in his side, with Oludare Olufunwa and Sam McClelland starting and Matt Smith coming off the bench.
MacLean was pleased with their performances, as he revealed there will likely be more incomings at McDiarmid Park next week.
He said: “They’ve not played any football this season at all so to go in at that level – I’m delighted for them. They’re only going to improve. They’re young boys and you can see why we’ve brought them here and they’ll get better as we go forward.
“(Matt) Smith’s not trained. He’s a Welsh international and you can see his pedigree so that’s why we’ve brought him here. He probably doesn’t know any of the boys names and it only got put through on Saturday morning so he didn’t even know if he was going to be in this squad.
“He’ll be fine and we’ll be fine going forward. We’ll be better than that going forward with another week’s training and hopefully another couple of bodies in, we’ll be good to go up to Ross County next week.
“We’ve got a couple of things going on in the background and fingers crossed we can get a couple over the line.”