Taylor Moore answers the question on permanent Hearts deal as he reveals chat with Bristol City manager
With a contract at Bristol City until 2023, Taylor Moore is realistic about prospects of joining Hearts permanently following some impressive displays on loan.
The central defender was outstanding in the last two games at Tynecastle Park, helping record clean sheets in the 3-0 win against Livingston and 2-0 victory over Motherwell. He already looks a natural fit for the Edinburgh club.
Moore’s loan agreement runs until the end of the season and keeping him beyond that may be difficult for Hearts. He is reluctant to walk away from that Ashton Gate contract but, speaking exclusively to the Evening News, he is ruling nothing out at this point.
“I have a contract at Bristol City and there is still quite a long time on it as well,” he said. “My main concern is just enjoying my football this season and helping Hearts. When Bristol City decide to send someone out on loan, it’s probably for the long-term development of the player as well.
“They made that decision based on my best interests and theirs. At 24-years-old, I couldn’t afford to sit around and not play. The manager, Nigel Pearson, was very honest with how he saw things and that’s what you want as a player.
“If a manager isn’t feeling you or doesn’t really want you in his team, you want him to tell you. The problem I had was the contract. I couldn’t really afford to tear that contract up and walk away. A loan was the best option.
“You have a contract with a very good club. I plan on sticking to that for the moment but we’ll see how it all goes.”
Moore’s future and Hearts’ chances of signing him will depend heavily on whether he can force himself back into Pearson’s plans. “That was a conversation with the manager at the beginning of this season. It was: ‘Listen, I don't necessarily see you as a starter. Would you be interested in going out on loan?’
“When a manager is that honest with you then you need to make that decision and off you go. Hearts was the perfect fit. It’s a good city, a good challenge and a very big club. It’s different to anything I’ve ever done before.
“League One in England – I’ve been there and done that. This is just completely different. Football is a marathon and not a sprint. I’m just here to enjoy my football and help Hearts as much as I can, but I’ve also got an eye on Bristol City as well to see how they’re doing.
“In the long-run, my ultimate goal is to play at the highest level possible so I’ve got to stick to my contract with Bristol City. That’s for sure.”
One thing that is permanent about Moore is his smile. He gives the impression of a footballer loving life at the moment. Hearts’ unbeaten start in the Premiership certainly helps. He is asked if it is more than he expected when joining a newly-promoted club.
“In all honesty, no. I accepted to come here on loan as a challenge,” explained the Englishman. “I spoke to the manager and they had just beaten Celtic. It’s a big club so you have to take that challenge and enjoy it.
“I think we are deservedly up there near the top of the league, especially with how we’ve played in the past two home matches. They’ve been really enjoyable and I think everyone at the games would agree.
“Motherwell were in form so we knew what to expect but we focused on ourselves. The manager said to go out there, win the game and that puts pressure on Rangers and Hibs the next day.
“We were disappointed with draws against Hibs and Ross County. That’s how much we believe in ourselves and how much we can push on.”
Buy a big coat
Positionally, Moore looks comfortable on the right of Hearts’ three-man defence. John Souttar should return from injury after the international break but his deputy has thrived being able to step forward in possession and initiate attacks.
“I definitely like that,” said Moore. “I missed out on quite a bit of football at the back end of last season and the start of this one. I’m getting my bearings and growing in confidence. The way I step in with the ball sometimes, there’s a lot more to come. I think I can do it better.
“I am working on it and getting my confidence back up. It’s tough when you’ve been out injured for a while but I’m enjoying that freedom. The manager wants us, as a back three, to step forward, create play and push the boys on.
“We have some very good attacking players so the quicker we get the ball the ball, the better. That suits me and the way we are playing at the moment is just amazing.”
He also moved into his own home recently, helping him settle off the field in Edinburgh. “Thankfully the girlfriend came and sorted all that out as well. She made a house a home for me,” he laughed.
“Part of football is moving around so you need to be prepared. It’s never nice when you need to move everything you own, put it in the back of a van and off you go to the unknown. But we’re in it because we love football.
“We have a few days off this week. Unfortunately my Nan has been really ill. I had to fly back down and saying goodbye to her was difficult. Before I left we had a good conversation and she actually said: ‘Listen, make sure you buy yourself a big coat when you’re up in Scotland.’ So I did that in the last few days.”