Stephen Kingsley says his attention is all on “getting the job done” for Hearts this season, after signing a new deal until 2025.
The defender has been a smash hit in Gorgie since arriving in 2020: winning the hearts of the maroon faithful with his composed defensive showings, whilst also blossoming into one of Scotland’s premier set-piece specialists.
With his future now secured, Stephen revealed what convinced him to sign on the dotted line.
"I’m glad to get it done, it's been on the cards for a little while now. It's great to finally get it over the line,” he told Hearts TV.
"I've enjoyed every minute of it. I've felt welcome since I first walked through the door. Thankfully, that's carried on and translated onto the pitch; I've felt very comfortable and put in some good performances so I'm very happy to be here.”
Project is the oft-used word to describe the progress that Robbie Neilson’s men has made over the last eighteen months. With a critical run of games between now and the end of the season – Stephen insists the men in maroon can’t afford to get carried away with what’s been done so far.
"I knew when I arrived, with the injury issues I had previously, it was always a case of getting game time and getting back to where I was previously. The club and the gaffer were always clear that this was a long-term project,” he added.
"We got the club back to where it needs to be. We've got targets now
"The immediate future is all we're concentrating on; the job's half done, it's not finished. We're in a good position, and it's up to us to carry that on until the end of the season.”
The corridors at Oriam have become alive with the clatter of boots again this week as the players returned from the winter break. Everyone around the club was boosted at the news that full houses were being restored to Scottish football.
With a maximum capacity of Jambos reinstated for Tuesday’s clash with St. Johnstone, Kingsley is looking forward to a reunion.
"It's been tough after having some time off, but it's been good to see the boys again! It takes you a wee while to get the legs going!” he laughed
"Having the fans was obviously something I experienced for the first half of the season. I loved that and it'll be great to have them back, along with all the benefits they bring.”
Stephen's interview is available to watch in full on Hearts TV by clicking here.