Date: 1st February 2011 at 1:32pm
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Hearts` Lithuanian winger Arvydas Novikovas has gone out on loan to St Johnstone until the end of the season.

Novikovas has been on the periphery of the Hearts first team so far this season, and has at times shown some genuine ability when it comes to dynamic wing-play. He scored a cracking goal against Aberdeen at Tynecastle at the tail end of last year, and probably delivered the highlight of his Hearts career to date when he fired over an imperious cross to supply Kevin Kyle for the late winner against Hibs in the New Year`s Day derby.

However those high points and any others that the player has had have all been from fleeting appearances as a substitute. Any games where he`s been given the opportunity to start have tended to end in disappointment, with the recent cup defeat against St Johnstone being the best example of this. The lad definitely has ability but too often looks as though he can`t be bothered putting some serious effort in, which is not something you tend to get away with in a league like the SPL.

I`m not sure if it`s genuinely the case that the guy is lazy or he is simply a bit nervous which translates as being disinterested, but either way it`s a good move to farm him out to a lower-profile club to see if he can build up his confidence. It comes at a sensible time for both the club and the player, as with Andy Driver now back in the mix for a first-team place, it`s difficult to see where Novikovas could fit in right now, with Suso and Templeton also ahead of him in the pecking order when it comes to out-and-out wingers.

A good move for all concerned I think. Hopefully he can come back in the summer with a bit more of a swagger and a determination to prove himself at Hearts. After all, it could come at a good time if we end up losing the likes of Driver then??