Hearts should be in Europe - Rudi Skacel

RUDI SKACEL believes Hearts’ stature lends itself to a club which should be sitting higher in the Scottish Premier League and qualifying for European football next season.

A top-six place will be secure if the Edinburgh club beat Aberdeen at Tynecastle this afternoon, and Skacel is hopeful three points can help them realise their ambitions before the campaign ends.

“It’s a big incentive to qualify for Europe, it would be a huge lift for the club,” he said.

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“It’s about generating money and winning the Scottish Cup could also help with that. It brings in TV and sponsorship money.

“If you play in a UEFA competition it’s great exposure for the club and we want success, we want to push on in the league and try to make the cup final. There are still two routes for us to make Europe.

“We are the third biggest club in Scotland and should be higher than where we are and definitely in Europe next season.”

Skacel admitted he is unsure whether he will remain at Hearts beyond the expiry of his contract this summer, with the club intending to promote players from their youth academy to replace some outgoing high earners.

“I don’t know if I will be at Hearts to guide the youngsters, I don’t want to speak about my future,” Skacel continued.

“Now it’s about focusing on finishing the season in the right manner and making sure we get a European place.

“What happens in the summer isn’t up to us, it’s up to the board and the manager but we just want a better future for this club. But certainly, it’s important there are some old heads who can help the younger players.”