Billy King today pledged to revive his Hearts career if given the opportunity by head coach Ian Cathro. The winger is due to return to Riccarton this summer after a season-long loan at Inverness but is unsure whether he will be in Cathro’s plans.
His contract runs until January having been extended last summer when the loan deal was agreed. King is therefore contractually obliged to report for pre-season training but, as yet, has no idea if he has a future with Hearts.
Cathro’s predecessor, Robbie Neilson, loaned him to Rangers last season and then Inverness for the whole of the current campaign. It seemed the 22-year-old’s Tynecastle days were numbered but King is hoping Cathro takes a different outlook.
“Obviously, it changes things. Different managers have different opinions. I’m not too sure what’s going to happen,” he told the Evening News. “I’ll be back in for pre-season as things stand but football is unpredictable. You don’t know what Ian Cathro is thinking.
“He probably hasn’t made any decisions or plans yet so I’ll probably need to wait until the end of the season. He texted me to make contact and to see how I was getting on. He said he’d be in touch later on, so everything is kind of up in the air at the moment. If they do want me back in to have a look at me in pre-season, I’m going to give it my best shot to try and put myself in the manager’s plans. I don’t have a clue how it’s going to go so I’m just concentrating on Inverness right now.”
King’s Hearts contract had been due to expire in June but the Edinburgh club extended it for six months.
“That move was designed to ensure they would have the chance to assess him again after his spell in the Highlands.
“It’s encouraging that I’ve got another six months and my contract finishes in January but, to be honest, the next five games are massive for Inverness because we’re fighting relegation. Beyond that, I’ll just see what happens,” added King.
“It’s been a tough season but Hearts extended my contract when I came up here so that’s pleasing. I’ve been at Hearts since I was nine. I want to do my best in the last few games here and hopefully, if I get another shot at Hearts, I can take it. It’s their decision.”