Craig Gordon is adamant he would feel equipped to go to this summer’s European Championships with Scotland even if he is unable to win back his Hearts starting place from Zander Clark.

The 41-year-old was undisputed number one for club and country before suffering a double leg-break on Christmas Eve of 2022 that sidelined him for almost a year.

Gordon returned to contention in December but has so far been restricted to just two Scottish Cup appearances against lower-league sides Spartans and Airdrie, with Hearts boss Steven Naismith keeping faith with Clark for cinch Premiership duties.

With the Euros kicking off in just over three months, the former Sunderland and Celtic keeper is running out of time to re-establish himself at club level.

Craig Gordon

Asked if he feels he would be fit and sharp enough to go to the showpiece in Germany even if not playing regularly for Hearts, Gordon – capped 74 times by his country – said: “Absolutely, yes. I feel really good.

“My body’s in the best shape it has been in years. There’s no doubt in my mind I’m capable of doing that. I just hope I get the opportunity to show everybody else as well.

“I’ve not spoken to Steve Clarke but I’m still hopeful. I still feel as if I’m capable, I feel my body’s in a good place, I feel ready to play. I definitely feel like I can still play at that level but that’s a choice for Steve.”

Gordon is expected to get another timely run-out for Hearts in Monday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final away to Morton, with the Scotland squad for the March friendly double-header against Netherlands and Northern Ireland due to be named just days later.

Steve Clarke

The veteran appears to be vying with current number one Angus Gunn, clubmate Clark, Motherwell’s Liam Kelly and Rangers number two Robby McCrorie to make the squad.

“We’ll see,” said Gordon, regarding the prospect of being selected by Clarke next week. “I’ll hopefully get the nod for the game on Monday (at Morton), and if I continue playing in the cup, it gives me another appearance, another chance to play.

“I don’t know what the manager (Clarke) is thinking but I’m certainly ready and able to join up if he decides to choose me.”

Asked if he could envisage a scenario whereby both he and clubmate Clark go to the Euros, Gordon said: “Anything’s possible. I don’t know what the manager’s thinking, what he sees as his best options but I’m still hopeful.

Zander Clark and Craig Gordon

“There are nine league games to go, potentially three cup games, so I’ve got a lot still to fight for. I need to play as many of those as possible and try and force my way in there.”

Gordon has generally been a number one throughout his career and admits he is in a “strange” situation whereby he finds himself cast as a back-up despite never having been dropped due to his form at Hearts.

“Being a goalkeeper, it seems to change things slightly in terms of people’s views,” he said. “There’s two sides to it. If you’re in my camp, you say I only lost my place because of an injury, and if you’re not then you say the man in possession keeps the gloves.

“There’s two ways to think about it. It’s not fallen on my side just yet but I can only do what I can do. I feel like I’m training really well and giving myself that opportunity.”

*Craig Gordon was speaking as Hearts launched their Maroon Mile project to mark 150 years of history in Edinburgh’s Gorgie and Dalry area. The Jambos have announced plans for a trail dedicated to their existence and achievements within the local community.