Robbie Neilson keen to extend Hearts stay and push for title

Robbie Neilson's Hearts contract expires at the end of next season
Robbie Neilson's Hearts contract expires at the end of next season
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Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson hopes to extend his Tynecastle deal and then lead the Jambos on a title push.

Chairwoman Ann Budge revealed this week she has opened contract talks with Neilson and his back-room staff.

The 35-year-old guided the Gorgie outfit to promotion to the Ladbrokes Premiership in his first season in charge and has the team flying high in third place in the top flight this term.

Now he reckons Hearts are capable of one day matching Aberdeen’s current exploits by giving Celtic a fight for the title.

Neilson – whose current agreement expires at the end of next season – said: “The priority during January was the players – getting guys in, guys out and extending some contracts.

“The coaching staff were put on the back-burner until that was done. Now that has been done, we will take a look at our new deals.

“I’m really enjoying my time here. There is still a huge amount of work to get done. There’s a lot of progression to be made and I’d like to be part of it.

“It’s great [that the chairwoman wants to open talks]. The club is in a great place right now and everyone here wants to stay as long as possible.

“We have the performance centre opening in the summer so that will take us to the next level. To be part of that as a coach is great.

“We have a five-year plan but we’re probably ahead of schedule. The ultimate aim is to get to a level where we can compete for a title. Aberdeen are showing it can be done this season and we want to get to that level too.

“We’re not there at this moment but I think we could be in a couple of years. I’d like to play my part.”