John Souttar: No massive celebrations - Hearts have to make bigger impact in top flight
The Jambos were crowned champions on Saturday evening after both Dundee and Raith Rovers dropped points in their matches. Hearts had defeated Alloa Athletic 6-0 on Friday night to move so close to the finishing line.
Robbie Neilson’s men have now achieved their target at the start of the season, to return to the Premiership after they were relegated in the wake of a curtailed, pandemic-affected 2019/20 campaign. However, their achievement has been soured for some sections of their support after some underwhelming performances and results during the season, capped off by a shock Scottish Cup exit to Highland League club Brora Rangers last month.
Souttar made his first appearance for Hearts in 405 days in the drubbing of Alloa after recovering from an Achilles rupture. He played 85 minutes and strolled through the match at centre-half.
Speaking before the Raith and Dundee matches, Souttar admitted that title-winning celebrations would be kept to a minimum given the circumstances and that the club can only really start to pat themselves on the back once they start making an impact in the Premiership and cup competitions.
"We shouldn't be down here,” said Souttar. “That goes without saying, a club like us should never be in the Championship. I don't think there will be massive celebrations. It will be 'job done, we are back where we belong'. There will be celebrations next season if we can win a cup or get into the top three/four, not winning the Championship.”