Craig Levein believes Hearts are building stability that will help them challenge at the top of the table for seasons to come.
Christophe Berra and Michael Smith have both recently penned new deals, with John Souttar set to be the latest name to pledge his future to the club.
Craig thinks the commitment shown by these players, with possibly more on the horizon, will stand the club in good stead going forward as he looks to bring through talented youngsters from the academy system.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference this morning, he said: “I think it’s hard to have a sustainable challenge without having stability. That’s where we’re trying to get to.
“We’ve made some steps forward with Christophe signing a new contract, Michael Smith’s signed a new contract…I don’t want to say too much but we’re very, very close to John Souttar signing a new contract as well.
“There are two or three others as well and that is solely around trying to create this stability that we’re after.
“Christophe’s signed a new contract, Michael’s signed a new contract and as I said, john’s in the process of agreeing a new contract and there are two or three other players who I want to put on long-term contracts to help achieve that stability that will allow us to be constantly challenging at the top end of the table.
“The longer-term project with regards to the younger players coming through is what will hopefully add real quality to the group as well. This is a plan, a long-term plan.”
Craig’s press conference is available to watch in full now on HeartsTV by clicking here.