No rush for Cathro

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro admits just the thought of Sam Nicholson playing football makes him smile – but he is in no rush to try to persuade him to extend his contract.

The midfielder is set to continue his comeback from knee surgery at Celtic Park on Sunday after making his first appearance in almost four months as a substitute in Wednesday’s William Hill Scottish Cup win over Raith Rovers.

The 22-year-old is out of contract in the summer and agreement over a new deal does not look imminent despite talks commencing in the autumn.

Cathro said: “I think about Sam playing and training and I almost start smiling. I enjoy the kid’s work.

“I am obviously still in a process of getting to know him and spending more time with him in training and working together, but I have enjoyed seeing his work. He has nice qualities.”

Nicholson is now free to talk to other clubs and Rangers have been credited with an interest.

But when asked about the wide player’s contract situation, Cathro said: “We can maybe look at those things further down the line but I am just getting to know him.

“He is just coming back from an injury, which was his main focus. There was no need for any focus to be on anything else.

“His focus now is on properly returning to the team, gradually building up his minutes and becoming stronger, and then reach a point he is ready to fight for a place in the team.

“That has to be a natural process. I am in no rush for Sam to do anything other than fight for his place in the team.”

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