Stephen Kingsley opens up on Hearts future, being back home and 'great changing room'
Stephen Kingsley has admitted he would be “happy” to prolong his stay at Hearts beyond this season.
The defender was on the scoresheet on Saturday, his free-kick earning Robbie Neilson’s men a point in the 2-2 draw with Ross County as the team kept up their unbeaten start to the league campaign.
Kingsley, who has started every game he has been available for, is in the final year of his contract at Tynecastle Park.
He joined the club in summer 2020 after his release from Hull City and made an instant, positive impact. He penned a one-year extension during last season.
“Absolutely,” he told the Evening News when asked if he would like to stay at Hearts beyond this season.
"I’m really enjoying my time here and taking one game as it comes. There is a great bunch of boys here, a great club.
"The atmosphere against Hibs shows you it is a massive club. If I was to stay here I’d be happy.
“It’s still early on in the season so whenever that does happen we will take it as it comes.
"I think there are a few boys out of contract but we’re just focusing on the games coming up just now.”
As well as being a key player on the field and part of a “great changing room”, there is contentment off the field for Kingsley having moved back to Scotland.
He moved to Wales when he was 19, swapping Falkirk for Swansea before three seasons with Hull.
“I’m loving being back home, the home environment,” the 27-year-old said. “Being back home with the family and friends it is a really nice change of scenery after the last seven years.
“It’s a great changing room with the boys, I’m really enjoying the atmosphere, they are a great bunch. It obviously helps when you are on a great run, it’s only natural.
"There’s a good mix but they are all good boys, good attitude. You couldn’t fault any one of them in what they give to the club.
"Everyone gets on with everyone. You know everyone’s going to fight for each other.”
Hearts have their aims for the season which are staying behind closed doors but it is clear European qualification features high on the priority list for the team.
“At the beginning of the season we had our own private aims and goals for the season but we really need to be looking into Europe and trying to push as far on as we can,” Kingsley said.
"When we’re at our best and we’ve already shown it against Celtic and most of the game against Hibs, bits of the game against Aberdeen, we’re good enough to compete and looking for those top spots.
"It just shows you the hard work we’ve put in and we’ve recruited very well as well.
“It’s that old cliche, you take one game at a time. It’s horrible to stay but you can only do that and affect the next game.
"Hopefully that takes us to the end of the season and in a great position and European spots then fantastic.”