First Team

Keep on building

1st March 2022

The contract extensions have been coming thick and fast for Hearts recently, and Robbie Neilson admits he’s thrilled to keep another of his maroon men at Tynecastle.

Andy Halliday is the latest member of the squad to put pen to paper on a Gorgie extension, signing a deal to remain with the club until the summer of 2024. Since he first arrived at Hearts in 2020, Andy has established himself as a versatile force for the JTs, a useful tool to be deployed effectively in a variety of positions, and the manager was chuffed to get another key member of the team tied down.
 
“I’m really pleased that Andy’s extended his contract,” he told the media ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with Aberdeen.
 
“He’s been more of a utility player for us, but a very good one. It’s difficult to get guys of that calibre who can cover so many positions. I had a good chat with Andy about his role going forward.
 
“It’s not just his performances on the pitch, it’s his value around the training ground. His attitude is top quality. We have to keep building a squad here and one of the things we’ve talked about since day one is keeping continuity within the group – a group that you can build other players around, and Andy is one of those guys.”
 
With some good news to kick off the week, all attention at Oriam now turns to Wednesday’s night’s match with Aberdeen. It’s set to be a cracker under the lights in Gorgie, and Robbie is hopeful that his team can get the right result after getting back to winning ways in Paisley at the weekend. The gaffer also provided a squad fitness update.
 
“We had a period of three weeks where we weren’t at the level we’ve usually been at. We got a good performance and result on Saturday which sets us up nicely for midweek.
 
“From our perspective, we’re at home in front of a Hearts crowd and we’re confident we can get a win. Jim {Goodwin} has come in to Aberdeen and changed things to a back four which is what St. Mirren traditionally played over his time there.
 
“Michael Smith is a bit away yet. His back flared up again so he could be two weeks, might be six. We need to let it settle down, then we’ll see where we are.
 
“Everyone else is ok: they came through Saturday and all trained this morning. Should have an otherwise full squad to pick from.”
 
You can catch Robbie’s full pre-Aberdeen press conference in full on Hearts TV.