HEARTS manager John McGlynn today urged the club’s supporters to show patience as he tries to rebuild their threadbare squad.
McGlynn knows that there will be high expectations from the club’s fans following last season’s Scottish Cup success and Rangers’ exit from the top flight.
He knows that many will now believe his side can challenge Celtic for the title, but he warned Hearts’ fan base not to expect miracles from their side after losing Ian Black, Rudi Skacel and Craig Beattie, to name just a few, in the summer.
The former Jambos youth coach, who was appointed as the new Tynecastle boss last week after bringing five-and-a-half years with Raith Rovers to an end, knows that the majority of new faces that he brings into the Hearts side this season will have to be promoted from the youth squad.
While he does have plans for the transfer market over the coming weeks, his budget has been drastically cut from that which other Hearts managers have had to work with in previous seasons.
“I would reckon that maybe 75 or 80 per cent of your fan base would recognise that,” he said of the club’s plans to reduce investment in players and instead concentrate on their youth policy.
“There will be others who still expect miracles, but there have to be realistic targets.
“I don’t think that the fans are stupid, I think they recognise the fact that if you lose guys like Ian Black, Craig Beattie, Rudi Skacel and a number of other players, they know that it is going to take time to get things right.
“I think football fans have been educated over the years, the television coverage over the years has helped do that.
“Everyone watches games and listens to debates so they all have an opinion – and a lot of it is right. Hopefully they will be patient.
“We are going down the youth route, but in recent seasons perhaps people have wondered what the point has been in coming to Hearts, because they tend to bring in foreign players.
“I would say to Scottish players to come to Hearts, this is the place to be at now.”
Meanwhile, despite his agent stating last week that Hearts’ offer of a new deal had fallen short financially, Beattie says he has not ruled out the possibility of a return to the club.
The striker’s Tynecastle contract ran out at the end of the last campaign and he says he is currently talking to a number of clubs about a move.
Agent Scott Fisher said: “Craig is not looking for a fortune but unfortunately when Hearts told us the terms we were miles apart.”
However, the 28-year-old, who spent the latter half of last season at Tynecastle and helped them win the Scottish Cup, admitted that he has some great memories of his time working under Paulo Sergio. He said: “I had a great time there. I did really well, enjoyed the club and I think they liked having me.
“If we can come to some sort of agreement that’s reasonable then I’ll certainly look at it.”