Dylan McGowan insists he is willing to commit his future to Hearts when they emerge from administration – even if it means playing in the Championship.
The big Australian is out of contract in the summer and concedes that negotiations over a new deal will have to wait until the club’s battle for survival is concluded.
However, McGowan is adamant that he has not considered walking away from Tynecastle in the close-season, despite the club looking increasingly doomed to relegation amid a nine-game winless streak. He is hopeful a new deal will be tabled to keep him in his adopted home of Edinburgh after “improving as a player” in the most difficult of circumstances at Hearts.
“We’ll have to wait until after we come out of administration before any new contracts are offered,” said McGowan, who arrived in Scotland with his older brother, Ryan, in 2008. “But I’m looking forward to seeing that happen and seeing what the club has for me. I have improved as a player and I’d be more than happy to open talks if they are ready – but most importantly it’s about the club surviving.
“When I first came over it was to sign for the under-19s, so I had to do well to get another contract and work my way through the ranks.
“I am proud of my achievements, considering how far I have come and how young I was when I moved over from Australia. I am very happy here. I have enjoyed every second of my time at Hearts. I’m enjoying playing and if the gaffer tells me its centre-midfield, right-back or centre-half then I’ll enjoy just being out there.”
McGowan is acutely aware that the continued transfer embargo on the club – which assistant manager Billy Brown has railed against recently – will mean the youngsters will have to step up their own game. However, he says that pressure has done nothing to diminish the spirit among the squad, claiming it is the most buoyant dressing room in the six years he has been at the club.
He continued: “We know we can’t sign anyone at the moment so we have to take that on board and strengthen our own performances. I’ve been in the dressing-room for a while now and have seen a lot of players come and go. But the team spirit this season is the best I have experienced and that can only stand us in good stead.
“Within the club we have always said there are promising youngsters. We would love to have more experience alongside them so they could learn from those types and have less pressure, but they’ll have to come into the the team and do well when they get the chance.”
On the club’s battle to avoid the drop in the face of a 19-point gap to 11th spot, McGowan echoed the sentiments of his team-mate, Brad McKay, by defiantly stating: “Until it is mathematically impossible we will keep believing we can stay up.”