sport

Neilson needs defensive cover

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson is hoping to bolster his defensive options before the summer transfer window closes.

Cover at right-back is considered to be a top priority after seeing Callum Paterson undergo knee surgery and be ruled out for two months.

Neilson had previously suggested that he would not look to dip back into the market, but he has seen his hand forced.

He has the option of moving versatile performers along his back four, but concedes that extra bodies would be welcome as Hearts look to build on an opening Scottish Championship success away at Rangers.

Neilson said in the Daily Record: \"I would like to try to get someone in defensively to give us more numbers at the back.

\"Callum is out and we're a wee bit short so we're going to need somebody to tide us over for a bit.

\"If something comes up and I think it would add to our squad then I'll go and have a look.

\"If we need to bring someone in then we will. I'm always on the lookout for players being made available.

\"I've got Brad McKay and Jordan McGhee who can play right-back but we do need cover at the back.

\"But I'm reasonably happy with the squad. If we don't get anybody in then I'm not too bothered but it's important we keep trying to improve.

\"The loan market is there at the moment for us, so that is a possibility.

\"I'd prefer a permanent deal if I could get it.\"