'We've got players in mind' - Hearts sporting director Joe Savage on hunt for target man Robbie Neilson wants

Robbie Neilson wants a new striker in the transfer window. Picture: SNSRobbie Neilson wants a new striker in the transfer window. Picture: SNS
Robbie Neilson wants a new striker in the transfer window. Picture: SNS
Joe Savage, Hearts’ new sporting director, has revealed the club have “players in mind” to fill the striker role.

Savage has been working hard to understand the criteria and profile the manager wants in a signing with one characteristic key with Gary Mackay-Steven through the door.

“I'm not going to say I am confident because in football the one thing I've found in recruitment you can think you are as close as could be and things can fall down,” he said.

"We're definitely targeting that position [striker].

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We have got a list, we've got players in mind we want to have a look at and speak with.

“What we're doing is making sure we do everything properly. We're looking at all the correct profiles and making sure we identify the right one that Robbie wants and Robbie feels that takes the club forward.”

He added: "Robbie and I have been in constant contact with each other since I agreed to take the job. We've been speaking about a lot of things.

"Robbie has got a clear plan in his head of what he wants from his players and the profiles he looks for and the types of characters.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Character is a big thing, you want the right type of player in, you want one that can thrive and really develop under you, want to be there and really want to work hard.

"Going forward we will speak more about more positions and I will get a much better understanding of what he is looking for in those positions..

“This is definitely a relationship which can prosper.”

Contacts book and Tynecastle attraction

Through his work with Hamilton Accies, Norwich City and latterly Preston North End, Savage has cultivated a contacts book which stretches far and wide.

It will, however, be a team effort with regards to bringing players in. And he sees no issue why he won’t be able to convince potential recruits to make the move to Tynecastle.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Savage said: “A big thing for Robbie probably was the contacts and the number of people I have dealt with in England and throughout Europe. I hope that’s something I can really touch on and make sure we develop.

“This is not just about me, Robbie has his own contacts, the coaches have their contacts, Jim Jefferies is still working with us, John Murray. It’s a team game and not just about Joe being brilliant and producing this and that.

“I will help as much as I can but we are all going to get our heads together and when it comes to recruitment meetings bring up good enough lists that strengthen the squad, Robbie likes and the fans will take to as well.”

He added: “You just need to look at the stadium, the training ground, the fan base.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We want to win promotion, we want to win the league, we want to be back in the Scottish Premier League as quickly as we possibly can.

"When you see this stadium, when you see the city, when you see this training ground I think a lot of players will want to play here.

"It's such a great atmosphere and a great culture we are going to be creating here, I don't think it’ll be a problem.”