JACK ROSS insists he is keen for Hibs to offer new deals to Daryl Horgan and Joe Newell – but hopes the players appreciate talks are unlikely any time soon.
The duo are just two of the players in the Easter Road squad whose current contracts expire next summer.
The likes of Martin Boyle, Ofir Marciano, Lewis Stevenson and Paul McGinn also have agreements that run out in 2021.
Horgan has confessed he would be keen to earn an extension and Ross namechecked the Irishman and Newell as two of those he hopes will play a big part in the bid for success this season.
However, the Hibs boss – who was due to speak with chairman Ron Gordon on Monday after the club owner was released from quarantine following his arrival from Miami a fortnight ago – admits planning for the future is difficult in the current climate.
Asked about the possibility of a new contract for Horgan, Ross said: “I think there are several players who fall into that category.
“There’s Daryl, Joe Newell, guys who are playing a big part in what we’re doing at the moment.
“But the good thing is I think they appreciate the current situation we’re in.
“And I think that [the pandemic] has made things a little bit more difficult to plan too far ahead.
“So, undoubtedly, if we can continue to do well on the pitch, that helps to progress matters off the pitch, as well.
“The good thing is, the type that Daryl is, temperament-wise, I have absolutely no issues about how he’ll continue to go about things.
“And, if and when there’s an opportunity to extend his stay here, I’m sure we will do that.”
Ross has seen eight players exit his squad since last season and has so far recruited just three – Kevin Nisbet, Drey Wright and Alex Gogic.
Nisbet’s arrival for £250,000 from Dunfermline caused controversy, coming in the midst of negotiations over redundancies and financial cutbacks.
However, Ross remains hopeful that, with the likes of Tom James and Adam Jackson possibly in line for a return south of the border, he could get the green light from Gordon to further strengthen his squad.
He added: “It’s just about trying to continue to improve.
“We have streamlined a lot of aspects of the club, and we’ve streamlined a lot of aspects of our squad.
“I mean, I’m happy with where we’re at. But like everything, as a manager, you are always looking.
“I think the time to strengthen is when you are doing well. That’s key.”