John Sutton 'still has Hearts future' - Paulo Sergio

John Sutton celebrates
Sutton scored two goals for Hearts against Aberdeen in his last league start

Hearts manager Paulo Sergio says John Sutton still has a future at Tynecastle despite not featuring for the Edinburgh side in recent games.

Sergio says the Englishman's style of play is "different" and there are games where Hearts can utilise the bustling forward's talents.

Sutton has not started since the 5-0 hammering by Tottenham Hotspur in Sergio's first game in charge.

He was a late substitute in the following game against Kilmarnock.

But Sutton was not even on the bench for the return leg against Spurs and the Edinburgh derby against Hibernian before being an unused substitute against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Sergio refuted newspaper reports that last week suggested the 27-year-old was surplus to requirements.

"You would have to talk to the person who wrote this," said the Hearts manager.

"Of course he has a future at the club. If he didn't have a future then he wouldn't be here.

"I can only start with 11 players and John has different qualities.

"When I want those qualities in my team, he will be there."

Sutton scored twice in his last Scottish Premier League start, a 3-0 win over Aberdeen on 13 August.

Those were his first goals since joining Hearts after his summer departure from Motherwell.

Sutton began his career with Spurs and had loan spells with Carlisle United and Swindon Town before becoming a regular scorer with Raith Rovers.

He was subsequently with Millwall, who farmed him out to Dundee, then St Mirren and Wycombe Wanderers before joining Well in 2008.