HEARTS defender Danny Grainger today urged the Tynecastle board to re-sign as many of the club’s Scottish Cup heroes as possible to prevent the unique bond within the dressing-room being fractured.
Several players who featured in Sunday’s semi-final victory over Celtic are out of contract this summer, including Rudi Skacel, Craig Beattie, Ian Black, Stephen Elliott and Suso Santana.
Although conscious that Hearts need to cut their salary bill, Grainger stressed that the character of the squad is something special. Despite several wage delays and the loss of key players such as Eggert Jonsson, Ryan Stevenson and Marian Kello this season, Hearts have reached the Scottish Cup final and could still qualify for Europe through their final SPL position.
Grainger, 25, implored the club hierarchy to do everything possible to keep key players. “The character in the team is top-notch. That is summed up by the team that played and won on Sunday against Celtic. They’re champions for a reason,” said the left-back.
“If we can get a few players signed on new contracts then it will be great. People know the club can’t continue running the way it has been with the wage bill. I don’t think it’s viable and obviously things need to be looked at.
“But it would be massive if we can keep this squad together. We’ve proved this season that we can beat anybody. We’ve beaten Rangers and Celtic so there’s no reason we can’t go on and compete at the top end of the table next year.
“Things that went on this season have hampered our league position. A lot of teams in our position wouldn’t even still be able to challenge for Europe so that’s down to the boys in the dressing-room that we are still where we are.”