HEARTS coach Robbie Neilson wants his club to use last season’s success to build for next year and beyond. He today urged fans to enjoy European football and declared his hope that the Edinburgh side can stay in the Europa League for as long as possible.
Finishing third in their first season back in the Ladbrokes Premiership was beyond Hearts’ pre-season expectations. The speed of their resurgence caught most of the country by surprise, culminating in a place in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League.
That gets underway at the end of this month, with Neilson and the Hearts players due back for pre-season training in two weeks time. The head coach believes momentum from last season can be carried forward into the 2016/17 campaign, and he plans some new signings to add a touch of freshness to his squad.
“Coming up from the Championship, to get third in the league and European football in our first season back in the Premiership is great,” Neilson told the Evening News. “I think we’ve performed really well and we now need to use this to build for next season. There won’t be a lot of changes to the squad but it’s important we improve the quality of it. The objective was top six this time last year and to get more than that, to get top three and European football has been great for the club and the fans. The supporters know they’re going to get a European trip, and hopefully several more if we’re going to progress through.”