RUDI SKACEL revealed today that Hearts’ primary target this season is now Europe following Saturday’s riveting 5-2 demolition of St Mirren, which propelled the Edinburgh club to third place in the Scottish Premier League.
The Czech midfielder scored a stupefying hat-trick during a stirring encounter in which Hearts played for 78 minutes with ten men following Marius Zaliukas’ dismissal. The result saw them climb above Motherwell into pole position for the Europa League qualifying rounds.
With players due their monthly wages today, Skacel is hopeful salary delays can become a thing of the past at Tynecastle. He said they should not be allowed to undermine Hearts’ attempts to finish third after four wins and a draw in their last five league games.
“We needed three points because our target is the top three,” he declared. “We are on a good run but I don’t want anything else to happen. The UK is something special because you are usually paid on time here. Hopefully the money trouble is gone and behind us.
“Unfortunately life and football or business is about money and the club has to deal with this. The club has to survive for the supporters. I hope everything will be fine and we can fight for third place.”
Skacel’s contract expires at the end of the month but he is eager to remain at Hearts and play a more pivotal role under manager Paulo Sergio.
“Hopefully I can stay until the end of the season. We will talk next week,” he continued. “I am without an agent so I want to speak with Hearts first. I think after the next two weeks we will know. It’s a short transfer window but I’m happy here. All the supporters enjoyed the hat-trick and I and I hope it gives me a bigger chance to play in the first XI.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Ian Black will miss Celtic’s visit to Tynecastle on Wednesday, February 8, through suspension after being cautioned against St Mirren.