Fresh from securing promotion to Scottish football’s fifth-tier, Elliot takes his side to Ferguson Park tonight (kick-off 7.30pm) for their East of Scotland League Cup semi-final against Whitehill Welfare. Linlithgow Rose await the winners on Sunday to bring the curtain down on the campaign.
“It’s not sunk in yet [promotion], we are focussed on the game tonight now,” said Elliot. “If it was the last game of the season we could enjoy it, but it’s now about getting ready for tonight and making sure we get into a cup final and have the chance of more success. I don’t know how many players we will have available as we are almost in June now.”
With 90% of his current squad signed up for next season, Elliot will be speaking with those out of contract this week ahead of a brief break before planning for next season. One of those players is striker McIntosh, two years Elliot’s senior, who is still going strong at the ripe old age of 37.
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How the Hearts players rated in the draw against Hibs
How the Hibs players rated in the derby draw with Hearts
Elliot continued: “Wayne can’t retire, he has too much to offer still and we will do everything we possibly can to try and keep him at the club. He’s like Peter Pan, he’s so infectious, he’s been an outstanding signing both on and off the park.
“His energy and enthusiasm for football is second to none, the younger lads need to look at boys like him at the tail end of his career; he still has that hunger. He always produces big moments in big games, I couldn’t speak highly enough of him, he’s just a brilliant boy that has been an absolute pleasure to work with.
“We will definitely have a bit of a break but you never switch off. The players will be delighted they don’t need to see me or speak to me for two or three weeks because I have pushed and pulled them and tried to drag everything I possible can out of them for the past year. At times I think I have been quite tough on them and pushed them, but I would like to think now that they understand why because they’ve now achieved something that I don’t think many people thought we would actually be able to do.”