Newcastle United January signing ‘struggles’ discussed - manager has his say
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Hearts manager Robbie Nielson has insisted any decision he makes on Garang Kuol will be made with the development of the Newcastle United youngster in mind.
The Australia international agreed to join the Magpies in September before officially becoming a United player last month when the January transfer window opened. There were always suggestions Kuol would be immediately sent out on loan and several EFL and Scottish clubs are believed to have registered an interest in securing a deal for the 18-year-old.
Hearts won the race for his services and Kuol has endured a mixed start to live at Tynecastle after making just one start out of a possible six games over the last month. The former Central Coast Mariners forward made his debut as a substitute in a 1-0 home win against St Mirren but his only start came in a 3-0 home defeat against Rangers.
Kuol was an unused substitute in Friday night’s Scottish Cup round-of-16 win at Scottish Championship club Hamilton Academical as Nielson opted to hand an opportunity to Japanese forward Yutaro Oda in the final 15 minutes of the game.
Reflecting on his decision over both of his January signings, the Hearts manager admitted he was wary of ‘hindering young players’ and by introducing Kuol and revealed the Magpies prospect will be handed a chance to shine in ‘certain games’ in the future.
Speaking to Edinburgh Evening News, Neilson said: “He (Oda) is in a different continent in a different culture playing a different style of football. We have an interpreter getting the language across to him so that he understands what we are trying to do. It’s going to take time. He just needs to take his 20 minutes here and 30 minutes there.
“It’s the same with Garang. He is a young kid so there are certain games he will start and others when he will come on. It’s about development for both of them. We just played a Scottish Cup tie on a Friday night on astroturf, it was bucketing down with rain, a 200-miles-an-hour game. You can actually end up hindering young players like that by putting them into those situations.”
Hearts will face Celtic in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup after the draw for the last eight was made on Tuesday.