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Robbie Neilson sings the praises of Celtic stopper Craig Gordon

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson said he tried to sign Craig Gordon, before the goalkeeper decided to move to Celtic.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has told the Scotsman that he would have loved to have signed Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

The Scotland international joined the Bhoys at the start of the 2014/15 campaign, and Neilson has revealed that he was trying to work on a deal to sign the former Sunderland man at that time.

Neilson and Gordon were teammates at Hearts earlier in their respective careers, and the 35-year-old manager still feels the custodian has a lot to offer.

“I know Craig well and he had his issues with his knee. He was thinking about retiring so to get back in and then to get back to the level he is at is phenomenal,” Neilson said. “The only issue was the knee. If he got that cleared up there was never any doubt he was going to be a top goalkeeper again. But for him to be able to manage it and get through that problem is great to see.

“I spoke to him before he went to Celtic because I knew he had issues and he was looking for a club and he was one I would have been delighted to get in. But he had the opportunity to go there which I understood. It was Champions League football and it was a great decision, I’m delighted for him.”

Since moving to Celtic, Gordon has turned out to be a bargain - and he seems to have put his fitness problems behind him.

A series of knee injuries ruined his chances of making a success of a big money move to Sunderland earlier in his career, however, he is quickly establishing his reputation as one of the finest goalkeepers in the Scottish Premiership again.

Gordon has been a mainstay in Celtic’s team this season, and he has made 44 appearances for Ronny Deila’s side in all competitions.

The 33-year-old was also rewarded with his second Scotland start in six years, when his nation took on Denmark earlier in the week.

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