Hearts looking for defender "a bit different" to Joe Wright after he signs for Kilmarnock

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson is still looking for another centre-back, but decided Joe Wright didn’t quite have the attributes he was looking for.

The 27-year-old former Rotherham United defender, who is just returned to fitness after a year out with injury, has signed a one-year contract at Kilmarnock after playing three games as a trialist for Hearts last week.

Neilson said he had been “impressed” by what he saw from Wright in the games against East Fife, Spartans and Bonnyrigg Rose and spoke to the free agent about his future a few days ago.

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He explained: “We're still looking in that area, but we're looking for something a wee bit different. I thought Joe did very well, but I'm sure he'll do well at Kilmarnock.”

Joe Wright was named on the bench for Kilmarnock for their Premier Sports Cup match against Partick Thistle at Rugby Park

Wright was comfortable on the ball without being tested defensively in his three games in maroon, but lined up in the middle of the back three in and had a tendency to drop into a sweeper position.

Neilson is ideally looking for a right-sided defender who can step forward with the ball after losing John Souttar to Rangers. Lewis Neilson, the teenager signed from Dundee United, and Toby Sibbick are his other options in that position.

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Kilmarnock announced Wright’s signing ahead of their Premier Sports Cup clash with Partick Thistle and named him on the bench.

Manager Derek McInnes said: “I’m really looking forward to the season ahead with him as part of our squad.

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Hearts manager Robbie Neilson. Picture: Mark Scates / SNS

“He’s a good age and size with plenty of experience. As soon as we spoke to him it was clear that he was really excited and motivated by the prospect of joining Kilmarnock.”