Hearts boss Steven Naismith has maintained that Zander Clark remains the number one goalkeeper at the club despite Craig Gordon returning to the squad.

The Scotland international has been the regular player between the sticks at Tynecastle since Gordon suffered a double leg break last December.

And the 40-year-old made his first appearance on the bench for over 11 months during the 1-0 defeat to Rangers.

This has prompted some speculation that Gordon may become the number one goalkeeper once again, however, Naismith insists it is still Clark's position to lose.

He said: "It’s different from the other players returning from injury because it’s a goalkeeper, it’s one of those where you look at the player who’s been playing and has the jersey and again last night Zander has some fantastic saves.

"He had some big saves for us which kept us in the game, as much as we don’t go on to get anything from the game, he keeps us in it.

“Through this season Zander has been really good, and consistent, so at this moment in time I think he is the right guy to be playing in goals.

“Craig is coming back, the next stage is being involved in the matchday squads. But if there is a time, whatever that maybe or when, we will see, but at the moment Zander is the guy who’s playing.

“I think he [Zander Clark] has been really good, I think he’s consistently played and consistently performed at a good level.

“As with any goalkeeper, when they make a mistake it is jumped upon, I think when we have some great goalkeepers here that gets emphasised at any point.

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“But Zander has been a consistent performer for me in the last year, he’s come here probably in strange circumstances for someone in his position."

Naismith also talked up Clark's experience in the Scottish game, highlighting this as one of the important things he brings to the Hearts squad.

He has won a double with St Johnstone, then not had a club for a period before coming here as a number two at a stage of his career when he is really experienced," he continued.

“Then Craig gets injured and he has to get up to speed quickly, and then continuously perform."

“In that period he has made his Scotland debut, got more caps, and I think he is in a much better position now than he was a year ago.

"So It’s been a positive year for him.”