ROBBIE NEILSON has revealed he is planning to hold contract talks with Stephen Kingsley following a dazzling start to his Hearts career.
The Scotland international penned a one-year deal with the capital club in October following an injury-hit end to his time at Hull City.
The short-term contract initially suited all parties, with Kingsley seeking regular football and to return home with his young family – and Hearts keen to ensure the marauding left-back could recapture his top form.
And Kingsley has already proved that he has not lost a step, scoring three goals in nine outings and helping the Jambos reach the Scottish Cup final and last-16 of the Betfred Cup.
While Neilson is cool about Kingsley’s future, he does intend to have a chat with the player prior to his becoming free to negotiate a pre-contract with other clubs in January.
The Hearts boss said: “Stephen just wants to get playing consistently but it [a new contract] is something we will definitely speak about in the coming weeks.
“It’s just a flat one-year deal and he’s been great from day one so I would like to try and get some sort of agreement in place.
“When he came in the door, he said: ‘I just want to play every week, see how I do and take it from there.’ I just want him to focus on his football at the moment. We have some big games coming up. What I don’t want to do is cloud it at all for him.
“He has been out for a long period of time. He was injured quite considerably at Hull and a wee bit at Swansea as well. He just wants to be back playing week in and week out.”
Despite already emerging as a standout for the Championship favourites, Neilson has promised that the best is yet to come from Kingsley, given his international experience and English Premier League pedigree with Swansea City.
Neilson continued: “I never had any doubts about Stephen, quality-wise. I knew him from his time at Falkirk, he’s played for Scotland, he’s played in the Premier League in England and in the Championship.
“He is a top player. It was just whether he would be able to play every week and I think he’s still getting there.
“And I feel there’s still more to come from him. He’s not had a pre-season – similar to Andy Halliday – and you see their performances getting a little bit better every week.”