Hearts run buoys goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald

Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald
MacDonald has been a bit-part player during his time at Tynecastle

Jamie MacDonald aims to establish himself as Hearts' first-choice keeper after the arrival of boss Paulo Sergio coincided with injury to Marian Kello.

The 25-year-old has let in one goal in three starts since replacing Kello late in last month's Edinburgh derby.

"I look at it as a chance to stake a claim. It's a new manager and a new beginning for everybody," he said.

"If I don't make any more mistakes and keep more clean sheets, there is a good chance I can stay in."

MacDonald has only made 28 appearances since signing professional forms at Tynecastle in 2003, although he has played regularly during two loan spells with Queen of the South.

"It's been good to get back in the team and playing again," MacDonald said.

"It's something you crave when you're not playing.

"I don't know how long Marian is going to be out for but it looks like a few more weeks anyway. So if I keep clean sheets, there is a good chance I can stay in for the season."

MacDonald is also competing against Hungarian Janos Balogh, who has recovered from an early-season injury.

"I have been here almost 10 years," he added. "It has been very difficult but it has also been great for me because the quality of goalkeepers I have worked with over the years has been great.

"When I first came here, Antti Niemi was still here. I have worked with Roddy Mackenzie and Craig Gordon so it is good to work with those players.

"For the last three years, it has been a bit mix and match with me, Janos and Marian, for the first couple anyway.

"Marian really cemented his place as number one for the last year and a half, his performances have been different class.

"But now there could be a chance for me, and Janos as well - we will always keep pushing each other."

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