First Team

Speedy's close shave

20th September 2014

Dale Carrick reveals his appearance should be slightly more familiar after hammering in double & winning sports scientist's bet.

Supersub Dale Carrick marked his return to first-team action with a bang after a sizzling 20 minute cameo in Saturday's 5-1 thumping of Cowdenbeath.

Making his first appearance since the opening day of the season's win over Rangers, Speedy came off the bench and smashed in a double - and almost completed a glorious hat-trick, the woodwork denying the striker.

After the match, Dale admitted he was glad to be back, although he conceded that he wasn't yet fit to be playing matches from the start at this stage of his recovery, following on from a troublesome thigh injury that kept him out of action for around 6 weeks.

"I was happy just to get on", he said. "The goals were a bonus. I was only on for 20 minutes, I can't be disappointed at not getting a hat-trick! I'm just glad to be back playing.

"It's frustrating to have an injury when the team is playing so well, you just want to be out there. On the other hand, though, it makes you more determined to force your way back into the side, which I'm trying to do.

"I'm not fit enough to be starting games right now, so I'm happy coming off the bench as a sub. I'm not ready for 90 minutes yet but hopefully I will be soon."

Carrick also revealed his true motivation for getting on the scoresheet after it turned out that a certain member of staff at Riccarton had challenged the academy graduate to a rather itchy bet.

"I just wanted to get on the park and try to score. I've had a bet going with the sports scientist, John Hill, that I had to grow my beard out until I scored and I just want to get rid of it because it's so annoying. It's been over five weeks now and I just hate it!"

Lastly, with Billy King and Osman Sow joining James Keatings on three league goals apiece, as well as the return of Jamie Walker and Soufian El Hassnaoui, and the sparking form of Sam Nicholson - missing today through injury - Speedy stated that, after the difficulties of even scoring goals in last season's disappointing campaign, the sheer number of free-scoring forwards could only be a good thing for Hearts in the future.

"There's good competition for places in the forward area now, which is obviously great after last season. In training we're challenging each other to see who's going to score the most goals, so that only pushes us on to improve.