Callum Paterson insists Hearts will not be resting on their laurels in their five remaining games, despite having already secured a return to European football.
The fit-again Scotland U21 star made his long-awaited first team return in the recent 0-0 draw at Inverness CT, helping the Jambos secure the point required to seal a spot in the Europa League qualifiers.
Speaking to Hearts News ahead of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership match away to Motherwell, Callum said:
“It was brilliant to get back against Inverness. Being out for such a long time and having to watch on from the sidelines was gutting, but I’m back training now and I’m feeling good.
“It’s always frustrating to be out, but you can only take it in your stride and hope that it makes you stronger. The recovery was hard but I’m looking to kick on now and get back in the team.
“Obviously it’s great to have secured Europe, that’s where I think the club should be looking to get every season. Finishing third is a massive achievement but we’ll still do our best to try and finish second.
“Motherwell are playing well but we’re fully focused on picking up as many points as we can going into the final games, so we’re going to Fir Park with the intent of getting all three points.”
A top six spot was the target at the start of the campaign, but Hearts are now guaranteed a third place finish with five games to go. Callum, however, insists he always believed the Jambos were capable of pushing higher up the league.
“I’ve not been surprised at all to be honest. Our top six goal was perhaps a tad on the safe side, we always felt we had the ability to achieve that. From there we set ourselves a target of a top four spot and now we’re obviously third, so we’ve done well to get there.
“So we’re now looking to finish the season on a high and then come back full of confidence for pre-season.“