Locke tips Black for Scotland
Hearts first-team coach Gary Locke feels Ian Black is on the brink of his first Scotland call-up after making a big impact at Tynecastle.
Last Updated: 23/03/12 5:05pm
Hearts first-team coach Gary Locke believes midfielder Ian Black is on the brink of his first senior Scotland call-up after making a big impact at Tynecastle.
The midfielder has played a key role in his side's run to the Scottish Cup semi-finals, as well as helping keep them in the top half of the Scottish Premier League table.
Locke feels the 27-year-old is likely to be in Scotland boss Craig Levein's thoughts.
"I think his performances, especially over the last couple of months, have been fantastic," said Locke, who was speaking ahead of Saturday's SPL clash at St Johnstone.
"I'm not trying to tell (Scotland manager) Craig Levein who to pick, but he certainly must be somebody Craig must be thinking about selecting in the not too distant future."
Black's well-timed pass set up Craig Beattie's goal in last weekend's 2-0 Edinburgh derby defeat of Hibernian and Locke feels there is no disputing his quality.
The midfielder's disciplinary record has often been discussed but the coach added: "He's always been a very good footballer, it was just a case of trying to keep him on the pitch at times.
"He is a fiery character, but if you take that out of his game he wouldn't be the same player.
"He's concentrating on his football and he is a top player. Hopefully he can continue that (form) until the end of the season."