Scott Robertson admits he would jump at the chance to sign a new deal at Hibs.
The midfielder joined the club two years ago after an ill-fated spell at Blackpool and has been a regular fixture in the side for most of that time.
Robertson’s contract is due to expire this summer, but the 29-year-old insists he won’t be difficult to deal with if Hibs’ management want to keep him at the club beyond this season.
“If the club wanted to keep me, I don’t think I’d be too long in giving them an answer,” he told the Evening News. “I’d absolutely love to stay. I’ve been here for two years – it’ll be two- and-a-half in the summer – and I feel like I’ve been quite a big part of it in the sense that I’ve played most games when I’ve been fit. I love the facilities, the club, the stadium, the fans, the team, the management and the staff.
“I’m really comfortable here and I enjoy it. I feel like the club’s on the upturn – we’re playing some good football and it’s good to be a part of it. Being associated with what happened last season [relegation] was a major negative, so I’d like to be associated with the club on the rise again.”
Robertson still lives in his home city of Dundee, but has no problem with continuing to commute south for a few years longer if it means he gets to stay at Easter Road. The club are currently in the early stages of negotiating new contracts, with provisional talks having taken place aimed at tying down talisman Scott Allan, whose current deal expires in the summer of 2016.
Robertson says he has had no indication yet if the club wish to retain him. “I’d love to extend my stay here but that’s up to the management,” he continued. “Nothing’s been said at the moment. Maybe for younger players talks on these sort of things start a bit earlier than they do for older boys like myself, but I’d imagine after the January transfer window’s done and dusted that’s when the management would be looking to give people an indication about their future.
“I’d be lying if I said it didn’t play on my mind because I’m a family man with a wife and kids to think about. You’d obviously rather concentrate on your football without worrying about what’s going to be happening income-wise, so of course it effects you a bit. I’d like to think that the way I am playing can persuade the people who matter to make a positive decision about me.”
Robertson is not the only first-team regular whose contact expires this summer. Long-serving Lewis Stevenson and captain Liam Craig are among those in the same boat. Head coach Alan Stubbs confirmed that Hibs are currently in the process of trying to sort out new contracts, although he admits some players’ futures may depend on whether or not the club gain promotion to the Premiership.
“There are discussions going on at this moment in time about the players that we want to tie down,” Stubbs said yesterday. “Some of them may not be until after the transfer window closes, but we’re definitely comfortable with where we are in those discussions. Does it matter what we’re playing next season? I think the answer to that is yes. And that would be the case at any club.
“If we go up then it changes things, and if we stay in the division then we will be in the same position we are this season. If we go up then I would expect the budget to go up. That changes the parameters. Players have to be professional and, if they are up in the summer, then they have to earn a contract. That should not get in the way of performances. If anything, performance levels should go up.”
Meanwhile, Hibs fans’ chief Mike Riley intends to call a meeting of the 18 supporters’ clubs to gauge feeling on the club’s scheme to increase fan ownership. Riley, speaking in a personal capacity, criticised Sir Tom Farmer and Rod Petrie’s plan to raise up to £2.5million from the fans to buy a 51 per shareholding and added: “So far I’ve only heard from branches who are against it, but there may be others who might not agree. Therefore we will be calling a meeting for all branches of the Hibs Supporters Association to discuss it after the club’s AGM next week.”