Hearts: Defender Aaron Hughes tips Jambos for period of success after signing deal

Aaron Hughes
Central defender Aaron Hughes is Northern Ireland's most capped outfield player of all time.

Defender Aaron Hughes is convinced Hearts are heading for a period of success after signing a one-year contract extension at Tynecastle.

The 37-year-old joined the Edinburgh outfit in January and has played in eight games so far.

He is fit for the visit of Aberdeen on Sunday after more than two months out.

"There's a lot of potential at the club and that's another reason why I am keen to be part of it, I think there are successful days ahead," Hughes said.

"I have enjoyed my football, I enjoy being round the place, so in that respect it was an easy decision.

"It's got a lot of potential, I think it can be a club that is pushing for European spots each year. And you have to look at the two cups as well as being a possibility. You have to look at that as a target."

The Tynecastle men go into Sunday's match hoping to revive their hopes of finishing fourth in the Premiership and securing European football for next term.

They are fifth in the table, six points adrift of fourth-placed St Johnstone.

'He was a very important signing'

And, on the back of successive draws at home to Partick Thistle and away to Kilmarnock, head coach Ian Cathro will be hoping Hughes can help spark a return to winning ways.

The defender is Northern Ireland's most capped outfield player of all-time, with a total of 103 appearances. He also made 455 appearances in the English Premier League with Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Fulham, as well as more than 50 appearances in European competitions.

"I've got no doubt at all that having Aaron in the team helps," Cathro said. "It helps the team and it helps players around him.

"He is really important to the game-plan and what we've been trying to do here. The player he is and the man he is, he transmits a comfort to the players.

"He's one of those guys who came here to be a bit of a message carrier for me. He was a very important signing."

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