Tuesday, August 9, 2022
SportHearts boss reveals how many more players he wants following Lawrence Shankland’s...

Hearts boss reveals how many more players he wants following Lawrence Shankland’s arrival 

Robbie Neilson insists he is happy with the depth of his squad for the Premiership – but the Hearts manager still wants to add another three players for their European adventure.

Scotland striker Lawrence Shankland became the Gorgie side’s sixth summer arrival on Wednesday when he signed from Belgian side Beerschot.

Kye Rowles, Lewis Neilson, Alex Cochrane, Jorge Grant and Alan Forrest have also joined.

Hearts were beaten 2-1 at Preston on Wednesday evening (Pic supplied by Hearts FC)

Hearts begin their Premiership campaign at home to Ross County on July 30 and kick off their continental campaign in the Europa League play offs on August 18.

And with eight games guaranteed in Europe until November Neilson knows he needs to to bolster his options.

Neilson, whose team host Stoke City tomorrow in their final warm-up game following Wednesday’s 2-1 set-back in Preston, said: “The priority now is to try and get another centre half in, potentially another centre midfielder and then another number 10.

“We waited for Rowles and waited for Shankland, we’ve got a couple of targets we’re looking at but it might take a bit of time.

“I’m really happy with our squad at the moment, we can start the league campaign and we can be comfortable – we’ve got options in different areas. We just want to add a wee bit more to it again.”

Neilson is hoping Cammy Devlin will be available for the clash with Stoke after sitting out the Preston friendly with a hamstring complaint.

Winger Josh Ginnelly also missed the Deepdale encounter with a thigh injury but is unlikely to play tomorrow.

Neilson added: “Ginnelly has still got a wee bit of a problem with his thigh.

“Cammy had a wee tweak of the hamstring and just with his previous history last year we kept him out but I would definitely expect Devlin back for Saturday, Ginnelly maybe the following week.”

The clash with Stoke is also doubling as Gary Locke’s testimonial and Neilson hopes fans turn out in their numbers to show their support to the club legend.

Hearts favourites Rudi Skacel and Pasquale Bruno are among the former players returning for the game.

Neilson added: “Hopefully it’s a great turnout, everyone knows Gary is Hearts through and through.

“He is a real Hearts man, stood on the terracing as a kid, played for the club, captained the club and managed the club.

“It will be a great day and hopefully it will be a good turn out for him because he deserves it. “I’ve not seen Pasquale for 20 odd years, it will be nice to see him. Rudi as well, a legend so it will be good to see all these guys coming back.”

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