Robbie Neilson vows to get the balance right in January transfer window
Robbie Neilson is predicting one or two arrivals and one or two departures during the transfer window, but warned that financial security for Hearts under fan ownership means money will have to spent wisely.
The Hearts boss is keen to keep defenders John Souttar and Stephen Kingsley at the club, but both are out of contract in the summer and have yet to agree a new deal.
Hearts have made both an offer, but no agreement has been reached and three English Championship clubs want Souttar.
Neilson and sporting director Joe Savage are aware of their responsibility to spend sensibly to bolster the squad in January, particularly after previous problems of over-spending. But if key players leave, they will need ti be replaced.
“There’s got to be a balance between the two,” Neilson told Sky Sports. “We need to be secure as a club. Previously, we’ve had a lot of problems but now we’re on a sound footing. We’ve got a brilliant fanbase who put in a lot of money every month to keep us stable.
“The job of myself, the sporting director and the board is to make sure that yes we spend money, but we spend it properly.
“We can’t get too carried away. We have a level that we get to and try to get the right players in. We were really pleased with the recruitment in the summer window and we have to try and do the same in the January window.
“The club is now stable. We’re fan-owned and have a great board. The big thing now is trying to get that stability in the team as well. For the last six years every window there’s been quite a big turnaround of players.
“We want to make sure this window there’s one or two coming in and one or two going out. Then when we get to the summer there isn’t wholesale changes again.
“The guys that we’ve brought in over the last couple of years have done fantastically well for us. Now it's a case of trying to get them tied up so we’ve got a real core group that can take us forward.”
Hearts can go back up second with victory at Celtic Park tomorrow. They beat Ange Postecoglou’s side on the opening day, but Celtic have improved since then.
”It's a different game going to Parkhead,” added Neilson. “It’s going to be tough but that win definitely gave us confidence at the start of the season.
“When we took them on at the start of the season and then in the cup game, the manager had only had a couple of weeks to start developing the way they play.
“You can see they're consistent in what they do, which can work for them, but it can also work for the opposition because you’ve got an idea of what they’re going to do before you go into it.
“We’re in a good position just now. I think when you go to Parkhead you can arrive and try and win the game, or you sit and wait to get beat.
“For us, we want to go and try to win the game. It’ll be a difficult game but we’ve got confidence in these players. We believe we can go to these places and win.”