FRANKIE McAvoy tonight revealed that Rangers playmaker Alex Lowry turned down the chance to move to England to join Hearts on loan in the wake of his side’s 2-0 win over St Johnstone.

The Tynecastle club got their cinch Premiership campaign off to a winning start at McDiarmid Park this afternoon thanks to second-half goals from Yutaro Oda and Lawrence Shankland.

The visitors struggled to break down their hosts, who went in to their opening league game on the back of a 4-0 defeat to Stirling Albion in the League Cup, until Lowry came on.

The 20-year-old had only completed his season-long switch to Hearts on Friday afternoon and had not trained with his new team mates.

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However, he made a huge difference to their play going forward and started the attack which led to Shankland netting Hearts’ second in injury-time.

McAvoy, who was pleased to see Beni Baningime and Martin Boyle return from lengthy injury lay-offs, was impressed with Lowry’s display and is excited about what he has to offer in the coming months.

"You can see he's got a bit of quality,” he said. “But we knew that. He is coming from a massive club in Rangers. We are delighted he wanted to come here.

“He had a lot of options on the table and chose to come here. He had the chance to go down south. But he felt we play in the right manner and felt he could add something. I think you could see that today.

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“We used him in a few positions where he can bring that creativity to try and unlock defences. Sometimes it's difficult when teams sit in and defend, it can be hard to break them down. He has that quality.

"For the second goal he has that intelligence to play a looped pass for Boycie, who unselfishly plays it across for Shanks to finish.

“We know we are getting a good young player, but we need to be mindful not to put him under too much pressure in terms of him being the guy who's got to go and win games all the time. That's not the case. We are a team and it's not about individuals. But he will fit in well.”

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Asked about the return of Baningime and Boyce, McAvoy said: "It's brilliant, great to see them back on the pitch.

“Sometimes you get wee niggles coming back from bad injuries. Credit to the medical team. They worked really hard to get them ready. Again, that adds some strength in depth to the squad and we will need that going forward.”

He added: "It will take time for us to gel. That's not a cop-out to buy people time. We've brought a new group in, it will take time to gel them in in terms of how we want them to play and also fit them into the group and find the camaraderie between them.

“We are delighted with the impact the subs made. You could see the quality that added. We need strength in depth and we need them being really competitive.
“It's a marathon, not a sprint. You don't win it on the first day, but it was important to get a positive start with three points.”