Hearts boss Robbie Neilson provides transfer update as talks up 'nucleus' of the squad

The new Hearts manager has revealed one of the key reasons for returning to the club was the squad

Monday, 6th July 2020, 12:44 pm
Updated Monday, 6th July 2020, 2:52 pm

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson believes he will have a strong squad at his disposal, no matter what division the club are playing in next season.

The legal challenge to the SPFL remains in the background after it was referred to Scottish FA’s arbitration process, meaning there is still an uncertainty as to whether the Tynecastle side will be playing in the Premiership or Championship.

As things stand, Hearts will be kicking off their league season in the second tier in the middle of October.

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Robbie Neilson has been unveiled as Hearts boss for the second time. Picture: SNS
Robbie Neilson has been unveiled as Hearts boss for the second time. Picture: SNS

Neilson, who has been unveiled to the media on Monday, has already started putting plans together for the 2020/21 campaign, and will discuss recruitment with Ann Budge.

However, it is unlikely the side will go under an overhaul as it did during the former right-back’s first spell as manager in 2014.

“One of the main things for me [which attracted me to the job] was the squad,” Neilson told Hearts TV. “I think it is a fantastic squad we have got here. Yes, we need to add a few to it, but I think the nucleus of a very, very good squad is here.

“I’m having a meeting with Ann this afternoon to discuss it. I’ve looked at it, I’ve watched a number of the games as well.

“I do think, as probably everyone realises, there are areas which need to be added to but, as I said, the nucleus is there.

“Depending on whatever league we are in we will have a good squad this year.”

Opportunities for youngsters

During Neilson’s first stint, a number of academy products made a positive impact, and he is hoping to utilise the next crop of promising talent at the club.

The likes of Jamie Brandon, Lewis Moore and Euan Henderson all signed new deals, while there is also Andy Irving, Harry Cochrane, Anthony McDonald, Chris Hamilton and Connor Smith.

“There’s a number of good young players here as well,” Neilson said. I think the last time we managed to bring quite a few of them through.

“I think it is about giving them an opportunity but also getting togetherness again with the team.

“You start winning football matches, everyone comes together and things start moving forward. First and foremost, get the team together, get us playing good football and get us winning football matches.”

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