Craig Halkett waiting to learn if he has a future at Hearts
Hearts defender Craig Halkett is determined to maintain complete professionalism whilst waiting to learn if the club want to extend his contract.
The 26-year-old signed a three-year deal when he arrived from Livingston in 2019 and is therefore due to become a free agent next summer. To date, there have been no discussions with the Tynecastle hierarchy about a longer agreement.
Halkett is not unduly concerned at the moment with only six rounds played in the 2021/22 cinch Premiership campaign. He is prepared to wait for now and accepts that club officials will soon motion him round the table if they decide he is part of Hearts’ long-term future.
Talks commenced last month with fellow centre-back John Souttar, who is also out of contract at the end of the season, but Halkett told the Evening News he will prioritise on-field performances until told of Hearts’ plans.
“My contract is up at the end of the season and, as of yet, we haven’t had any talks,” he said. “Right now, I’m just focusing on the football, getting my head down, staying fit and playing the best I can.
“No matter what position you are in with your contract or how many years you’ve got left, you just want to get your head down and focus. That’s what I’ve been doing.
“Obviously you know in the back of your mind that your contract is up at the end of the season, so you want to play as well as you can. Hopefully the club sees you as a player they want to keep for the future. Once that bridge comes, then we will cross it.
“As it stands just now, I’m just getting my head down and working hard. For me, it’s just about playing football on a Saturday. As long as I’m starting every game and performing well, I’m happy to do that. Then whatever happens, happens.”
Ahead of Saturday’s league match against his former club, Halkett added that he is relishing each game with unbeaten Hearts. “I’m enjoying it here and we’ve been using a back three since the tail end of last season. Results and points show it’s gone well,” he said.
“Playing in the middle of the three is something I’m used to having played there a lot with Livingston. We changed to a back four last weekend at Ross County so you just do the job.
“I’m really enjoying this season so far. The jump from Livingston to Hearts was quite big in terms of the size of the club and fanbase. That took some getting used to, plus the demand for results every week.
“At Livingston, you want to win every game but people label you underdogs and you aren’t expected to win all the time. When you come here, you are expected to win most games if not them all. Growing as a person in that way has been good.
“I’ve played a lot of games since I came here so as a player I feel I’m getting better all the time, and working with different managers has been good.”