Robbie Neilson, the Hearts manager, admits he is seeking to bolster his defence by recruiting a ninth summer signing.

The former club captain had recently indicated that he was not actively searching for any more fresh faces. However, with right-back Callum Paterson out for two months after undergoing surgery to repair knee ligament damage that he sustained in the recent Petrofac Training Cup win over Annan, Neilson admits is he is keen to enhance his options at the back.

Neilson, who deployed both Jordan McGhee and Brad McKay at right-back during Sunday's opening Championship win at Rangers, said: "I'd like to try and get somebody in defensively just to give us more numbers in that department.

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"Callum is out and we're going to need somebody just to tide us over. If something comes up and I think it would add to our squad, then I'll go and have a look. I'm always on the lookout for players being made available. I've got Brad and Jordan who can play right full-back but we do need cover at the back.

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

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