Wotherspoon hoping to be back for Hearts

David Wotherspoon.
David Wotherspoon.

David Wotherspoon is optimistic he will be back for St Johnstone’s Premiership opener at Tynecastle.

The Perth midfielder missed out the second leg of the Europa League qualifier after going over his ankle 24 hours before it, but hopes to return to training next week.

And, for an ex-HIbs man, a clash with Hearts on the first day of the domestic season isn’t one he wants to sit out.

“It was so frustrating,” he said. “I was gutted to miss the (Alashkert) match.

“I was preparing for the game on the Wednesday training session. I was just running with the ball and the ankle rolled.

“I’m not too bad normally watching from the stand but this was different. I was biting my fingernails, a real bag of nerves. I was kicking every ball. I desperately wanted to see the boys get through.

“But we have to forget about Europe. Now we are totally focused on preparing for the start of the domestic season and the first match against Hearts in Edinburgh. What a game to start with.

“I want to be ready for that one. I am hoping to start training next week at some stage but will be guided by the physio.”

Wotherspoon added: “Tynecastle will be full and the place will be buzzing. They had a great season in winning the Championship so it might be regarded as an upset if we go there and win. That has to be out target.

“They wanted to get promoted right away and pulled it off against tough opposition in Hibs and Rangers.

“I love playing at Tynecastle. The fans are on top of you. It creates a great atmosphere. As always I can expect a warm welcome because of the Hibs connenction. But I can’t wait for the start of the league season and I’m certainly hoping to be ready.”

Wotherspoon is happy that boss Tommy Wright has brought in another midfielder.

“The manager has been looking at midfielders and the way I see it the more competition we have the better for everyone,” he pointed out.

“It would be great to add a player or two to strengthen for the season ahead.”

Meanwhile, youngsters Mark Hurst, George Hunter and Liam Gordon have joined Elgin City on loan through to January, with Ally Gilchrist heading to Peterhead.