Hearts manager Craig Levein pinpointed one moment where Hearts fell apart in their 3-1 defeat to a Kenny Miller-inspired Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
A hamstring injury suffered by Jamie Walker curtailed the attacker’s afternoon early in the second half at Murrayfield and, just 13 minutes later, 37-year-old Miller nodded home his second of the afternoon to give the visitors the lead for the first time in the game.
It’s fair to say Miller, restored to Rangers’ starting XI for the first time in a month by Graeme Murty after an unseemly row with the now dismissed Pedro Caixinha, proved his point in emphatic fashion. The same, however, cannot be said about Walker in a performance that was rather ineffectual, even before he hobbled off eight minutes after the interval.
The 24-year-old was one of Rangers’ top targets during the summer transfer window. But the Ibrox giants failed to get the deal over the line due to their refusal to meet Hearts’ £1 million asking price (Daily Record) for a player who will be out of contract at the end of this season.
And Walker told the Daily Record earlier this month that he was hoping to build on last season’s career best form in order to earn himself the best possible move either in January or at the end of the season.
Intriguingly, Walker indicated that he hoped to be in a position to earn the admiration of better clubs than the Glasgow giants.
On Saturday’s showing, however, the winger didn’t exactly live up to his reported £1 million summer price-tag. Walker was quiet throughout, only really emerging out of the shadows when slicing a presentable first-half chance well wide of the far post.
The Scottish Sun claimed last month that Rangers were hopeful of signing Walker on a pre-contract agreement in January. On this form, they may think twice.