Robertson looks for commitment


Hearts v Ferencvaros: Hearts head coach John Robertson is hoping an extended run in the UEFA Cup will convince some of his top stars to remain at the club.

Players such as skipper Stephen Pressley, Phil Stamp, Patrick Kisnorbo, Alan Maybury, Mark de Vries and Ramon Pereira are all out of contract at the end of the season.

That means they could depart in January if the right offer comes in or leave for nothing in the summer.

Robertson is hoping a place in the knock-out stages of the UEFA Cup will tempt those players to at least see out the remainder of their contracts.

Hearts must defeat Ferencavros and hope Basle do not win against Feyenoord to book their place in the final 32 of the competition.

But Robertson has warned he is only interested in holding on to players who are 100 per cent committed to Hearts. He said: "It could help. If we get through and have another European tie it may encourage players to stay at least until the end of the season."

Like their other European ties at home this season, the visit of Ferencvaros will take place at Murrayfield because Tynecastle does not meet UEFA requirements.