Scott Robinson has amassed over 100 games for Hearts yet still feels he isn’t a proven first-team player.
The 22-year-old was given his senior debut aged 16 by Stephen Frail and is now playing under his sixth Hearts manager in Gary Locke. He holds a Scottish Cup winner’s medal and has represented the club in Europe but still considers himself an aspiring youngster.
“I’m not seen as one of the younger ones now although I certainly still feel like one,” said the midfielder. “I still have a laugh and a joke with them and I still feel like one of the lads.
“I don’t think there is a difference between me and them or look down on them or anything like that. I try to help out whenever I can. I am 22 now but I don’t see myself as proven yet. I would still like to have a decent run of games to prove myself a bit more. I am under contract for next season but it must be worrying times for one or two of the boys who aren’t.
“Hopefully they can get their futures sorted as soon as possible so they know what is going on. I think the group we have is great, you can see everyone is flying right now. And I think if everyone can get more games we can go as high as possible.”
That will not be enough to prevent relegation, of course, but Robinson expects Hearts to be serious title contenders in next season’s Championship and hopes for some new signings to reinforce the squad. “I think we would do fine in the Championship as it is but it could be hard if we got an injury or two or a suspension,” he continued.
“I’m sure if we could get a few fresh faces it would be good to help out the younger ones. I would like to think we could challenge for the title. I think we are still good enough to be in this division. If it wasn’t for the 15-point deduction we could be as high as seventh so that has got to be our aim.”
Hearts remain heavily involved in the relegation issue even though their fate is already confirmed. They have already beaten Ross County and Hibs from the five clubs who sit just two points apart in the bottom half of the Scottish Premiership ahead of today’s matches. All are striving to avoid the play-off place.
“People have been saying Hearts are the team who will drag others into it but really we’re just looking to finish on as big a high as we can by winning every game between now and the end of the season. I’m sure people looked at us on the fixture list earlier this season and thought, ‘that’s three points’. We were on a bad run but now we have completely turned things around and I’m sure teams now don’t look forward to coming to Tynecastle and playing us.
“We have nothing to lose. We can express ourselves and just play our normal game. Finishing less than 15 points behind the second bottom team has to be our aim. We’re one point inside it now and if we win tomorrow it could be four.
“That would allow us to say if we hadn’t had the deduction then we could have stayed in the league. We want to prove to the other teams that Hearts are good enough to be in this division.”
When questioned on who he expects to join Hearts in the drop downwards, Robinson remained guarded. “It’s really hard to say. I think the games this weekend are going to be massive. If we beat Kilmarnock and Hibs pick up a victory then it will be hard for Kilmarnock.
“Hibs are on a bad run themselves, so it is really hard to say. Time will tell. For the sake of the league it would be a lot better if Hibs were in the Championship. It would be a really good league to watch with the Edinburgh derbies as well as the games with Rangers.”
Hearts’ victory over Hibs at Easter Road last week saw them amass the same number of points as their rivals so far this season. “It’s massive to know we’d be on the same points as them without the deduction,” continued Robinson.
“Just beating them four games out of five was really satisfying. We knew we were already down so Hibs could turn around and say ‘you’re relegated anyway, it doesn’t matter’. So to get the four wins against them was great.”