Stephen Kingsley admits a recall to the Scotland squad is among his targets after signing a new 18-month contract at Hearts.
The left-back is back playing regularly at the Championship leaders after joining last October following an injury plagued three-year stint at Hull City.
Kingsley’s first objective is to help Robbie Neilson’s side return to the top-flight, an aim that looks increasingly likely to be realised with Hearts boasting a seven point lead at the summit ahead of today’s visit of Raith Rovers.
Beyond that, Kingsley would love to catch national team manager Steve Clarke’s attention. His only appearance to date came in 2016 in a friendly loss to France.
The likes of Liverpool’s Andy Robertson and Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney stand in Kingsley’s way of further Scotland recognition but that has not tempered the 26-year-old’s desire to represent his county.
Speaking ahead of today’s visit of Raith Rovers, Kingsley said: “I’ve been in squads before and made one appearance.
“That was obviously a very proud moment for me and my family.
“I feel if I work as hard as I can and improve as much as I can in club football then that’ll take care of itself.
“If I can impress here and do my thing, then that will hopefully lead to a call up.
“I know being a left that there’s some heavy competition there.
“I understand that but I just need to focus on myself and if it comes my way, then brilliant.”
Kingsley has already made 16 appearances for Hearts this term, double the amount he racked up during an injury-hampered 2019/20 season at Hull City.
The defender is relieved his problems appear to be a thing of the past.
He added: “Unfortunately my time at Hull was blighted by injuries.
“It was a team I really wanted to go to coming from Swansea in the Premier League, to just get my games at Hull and try and kick on again. “That didn’t happen and it was a tough three years.
“I wanted to make sure coming here to Hearts that I’d get those games that I was craving and thankfully it’s been half a season where I’ve had a good run and hopefully that continues.”