Taylor Moore exclusive: Hearts future, Bristol City talks and shoving Hibs' Ryan Porteous

The future for Taylor Moore is somewhat unclear. Do Bristol City want him? Do Hearts? Will the rest of his career unfold elsewhere? Answers to those questions will be sought over the coming weeks.

Friday, 22nd April 2022, 7:00 am

For now, the centre-back is focused on five remaining cinch Premiership fixtures and a Scottish Cup final. Game time has been restricted during his season-long loan in Edinburgh so, with Craig Halkett and John Souttar both injured, Moore must relish any opportunities in defence.

That starts at Dundee United on Sunday. Strong performances between now and the summer could open a door at his parent club or potentially another prospective suitor. Staying at Hearts seems unlikely given his bit-part role this term, but Moore is determined to gain clarity from all concerned one way or another.

“I’ve got to have some very serious conversations this summer with Bristol City, my agent, my girlfriend and my family,” he told the Evening News. “Where do I see myself next season? Do Bristol City need me or not? There are a lot of questions.

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“Sometimes it’s quite difficult as a player coming towards the end of a season and you don’t know your next step. I’m 25 in May. I’m old enough and ugly enough to understand that sometimes you need to move on and close a chapter.

“I’m very much open to having a conversation with Bristol City to see where things are. Ultimately, I need to go into next season positively in a team that wants to be successful, like this one, and looking to play as much as possible to develop.”

Asked whether there have been any discussions about possibly staying at Tynecastle, Moore said the approach at this stage is realistic.

“Joe Savage and the manager have both been really honest. Recently, our conversations have been more about how I can get in the team than maybe staying here.

Hearts' Taylor Moore shoves Hibs' Ryan Porteous during the Scottish Cup semi-final.

“I think everyone is open to a lot of options. It could be a loan, it could be a permanent deal, or it might not happen. I need to let them know that I am committed until the final day here.”

He isn’t always in the best frame of mind when continually on the periphery. The aim of joining Hearts was to play regularly and develop his game in Scotland but it hasn’t happened often enough. The odd huff is not uncommon and Moore doesn't deny those tendencies.

“I haven’t played as much as I wanted to this season so I’m going to make the most of the next five games if given the opportunity,” he said. “You see what it means to the fans and staff here. Every time you pull on that shirt, you fight for them as well.

“You’re fighting for bragging rights for Hearts fans over Hibs fans last Saturday and it’s good to see what it means to people. It’s important to make people happy. I want to leave Hearts knowing I’ve given 110 per cent.

Taylor Moore is on loan at Hearts until the end of the season.

“I’ve had many honest conversations with the manager and I’ve said: ‘If you need me for one minute, I’m there. If you need me for 90, I’ll be there as well.’ I know it’s been difficult for him because I haven’t always been in the best of moods throughout the season when I missed out.

“He has been nothing but honest with me and I need to repay him by putting in some good performances now.

“You would never wish an injury on anyone and the lads who play in my position have done very well this season. Craig Halkett just got his first Scotland call-up, John Souttar got a move to Rangers and Stephen Kingsley has been outstanding in every game.

“It has been very tough for me to get into the team, let along get a run of games. I didn’t think I would get on or play as much as I did last week in the Scottish Cup semi-final but I trained hard to be ready.

“I am hungry to play. I came to Hearts to get game time and unfortunately for me it’s been stop-start all season. I understand that’s part of football in a team doing well.”

He managed 40 minutes at Hampden as Hearts beat Hibs 2-1 to reach the Scottish Cup final against Rangers. Replacing the injured Halkett, Moore found himself thrust into an intense all-Edinburgh tie which ended with unforgettable scenes at full-time.

“That was amazing. I’m smiling now just thinking about it, beating Hibs back-to-back,” he grinned. “I knew it was a big occasion at Hampden and getting to the final means a lot to a lot of people.

“I was happy playing a large chunk of the game. When you’re at Hampden, you’re kind of like a rabbit in the headlights for five minutes and then you calm down.”

Whether the Englishman did entirely calm down is debatable. The dying moments saw him blatantly shove Hibs defender Ryan Porteous to the ground, resulting in a free-kick to the opposition.

Moore had already been cautioned and risked a second yellow card with what he admits was a “silly moment”. Thankfully for him, it did not prove costly.

“I would definitely say I got caught up in the moment. A minute before, he [Porteous] barged me but people wouldn’t see that. It was nothing malicious and we shook hands at the end of the game.

“A very silly moment from myself but fortunately Craig Gordon was there to palm the free-kick away. People remember the result and hopefully all of that gets forgotten about.”

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