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The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Skacel happy to stay with Hearts

Hearts midfielder Rudi Skacel has admitted he would be happy to settle down in Edinburgh after his loan expires in the summer.

The 26-year-old is currently on loan from Marseille until the end of the season.

But, after scoring 16 goals this season, the Czech Republic player has become a fans' favourite at Tynecastle.

Skacel insists he will not make any decision on his future until the end of the season when he is hoping his form will earn him a place at the World Cup finals.

However, after playing on loan for Panathinaikos in Greece last season, the midfielder admits the prospect of staying in one place is an appealing one.

Skacel told Czech newspaper Daily Sport: 'I have a contract with Hearts for a loan to the end of the season with an option to buy me. I shall see if they will use it.

'We will sit with my agent at the end of the season and will discuss everything thoroughly.

'I have been moving so much in my life, that I would certainly be glad to stay longer in one place.'

But Skacel has also credited head coach Graham Rix for placing his faith in the player after former Hearts manager George Burley brought the midfielder to Edinburgh in the summer.

He added: 'It is a very special season. I have been scoring goals and everything is better than I had expected.

'The coach fully trusts me and the club and the city are in soccer euphoria. I am enjoying this season very much.'

The Jambos slipped in the race for the Bank of Scotland Premier League recently, but, after the weekend win over Hibernian, the Edinburgh club closed the gap on leaders Celtic to eight points.

But Skacel said the title is not discussed inside the dressing room as they prepare for the Tennent's Scottish Cup fourth-round tie with Aberdeen on Saturday.

He said: 'To tell the truth, we do not talk about this (the SPL title) a lot.

'We always look forward to the next game. We will play twice against Celtic before the end of this season and things may be mixed up well.

'It is too soon to think of the top spot. We play the cup on Saturday, on Tuesday the league game at Dundee United, there is no time to think about the title.'