Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson insists Scott Robinson and David Smith are welcome to remain at Tynecastle despite being told they are free to find to new clubs.
Explaining the club’s decision to make both players available on free transfers, Neilson said he cannot guarantee them regular first-team football. As revealed in Tuesday’s Evening News, they are surplus to requirements and can leave if they find a new team before the transfer window closes on Monday night.
Kilmarnock are interested in taking Robinson, known to his team-mates as ‘Pum’, to Rugby Park, whilst Raith Rovers are thought to be keen on Smith. Robinson played under Kilmarnock’s assistant manager Gary Locke at Hearts last season but any move for the midfielder may be delayed until January due to budget constraints at the Ayrshire club.
Neilson maintained he has no problem with Robinson or Smith staying until their contracts expire at the end of the season. Hearts expect approaches for both players but they could choose to remain part of the squad at Tynecastle if no suitable offer arrives.
“The two of them are good players, I’ve said that to them all along,” Neilson told the Evening News. “They are two guys who want to play first-team football every week and they might not get that opportunity here. We have other guys who are playing at the moment and I just wanted to be honest with them.
“You have to be straight down the middle with players and let them understand the situation. If they don’t move on and find another club where they’re going to play, then I’m more than happy to have them here. In training they’re great and they’re great to have about the place. You saw when they came in and played against Stenhousemuir that they work hard.
David did well with the ball in for the first goal and Scott works extremely hard in midfield. It’s the nature of football that guys want to play every week and if you aren’t going to play then sometimes you’re better to go and find a club where you can do that. I’m sure there will be a lot of teams after them.”
Jordan McGhee and James Keatings, both substituted with injuries against Stenhousemuir on Tuesday, should be available to face Falkirk this weekend. McGhee suffered a dead leg and Keatings took a knock on his upper shin/knee area.