Hearts boss Robbie Neilson on Ellis Simms extension and Stephen Kingsley and Andy Halliday injuries

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has confirmed he would be keen to keep striker Ellis Simms at the club beyond this season.

The 21-year-old joined on loan from Everton in the January transfer window and has been a huge hit on the field and with the club's fans.

Simms opened the scoring in the 2-1 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Hibs with a thumping strike. It was his fifth in 15 appearances.

Speaking to the Evening News earlier in the week, the player was coy over his future but admitted he has "loved” his time at Tynecastle Park.

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Neilson was much more forthright with his answer when asked if he was open to extending the player’s stay.

"We would love to make it happen,” he said. “But, you know, Ellis is an Everton player and it’ll come down to Everton to decide what they want to do with him.

"I spoke to Ellis, he’s enjoying his time here and doing well. He’s playing football and there's that carrot of European football but it’ll come down to his parent club.”

Meanwhile, Neilson delivered an injury update on Andy Haliday and Stephen Kingsley. Both were replaced following knocks during Saturday's win.

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Hearts boss Robbie Neilson is keen to extend Ellis Simms' stay at Tynecastle Park. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

"We will assess him [Halliday] before this game but I think it will be a couple of weeks before he is ready, to make sure he is 100 per cent.

“ [Kingsley] will be assessed on Saturday. It wasn't too bad. Again, he has been carrying that for three or four weeks. The decision is, do we keep pushing him or do we take a wee step back and let it settle down?"

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