Sergio upbeat on Hearts future

PA Sport
Paulo Sergio
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Paulo Sergio

Manager Paulo Sergio believes the short and long-term future is bright for Hearts as the Edinburgh club continues to battle financial problems.

Hearts on Wednesday paid their first-team squad and coaching staff their March wages, which had been due on March 16, as salaries were delayed significantly for a fourth time this season.

Sergio, whose own future is still to be clarified, said: "The Hearts board and directors are serious people. They are fighting. Life is not easy in this moment all over the world.

"We are getting paid with a delay. It's a pity we can't get paid in the right moment, because they're finding the money not in the right moment.

"That doesn't help, but we have to believe that people are working hard to live a normal situation. I believe that's going to happen in the future, that's going to happen next season. People are working hard to put things in place."

There was a glimpse of the future last week against St Johnstone, with injuries forcing the promotion to the first-team ranks of a number of younger players, who could yet come further to the fore next term with cost-cutting measures likely to be implemented this summer.

Among them was goalkeeper Mark Ridgers, who came on as a half-time substitute after Jamie MacDonald left the action due to a hip injury.

MacDonald is to be assessed ahead of Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Aberdeen as Hearts go in search of the point which will almost certainly secure their place in the top half of the table at the imminent split.

But Scotland Under-21 international Ridgers could start if MacDonald fails to prove his fitness, with no sign of an end to impasse over Marian Kello, who is out of contract at the end of the season and has been in dispute with the Hearts board.

"I think it's going to be okay," Sergio said of the goalkeeper situation.

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