Another Wallace rising

24 April 2010 08:34
Lee Wallace is a proud man and has driving ambition to see Hearts challenging for honours and not sneaking into the top-six as their fate. Lee Wallace admits he has done a lot of growing up this season as he prepares for his 150th game for Hearts. The 22-year-old left-back has been one of the success stories of a topsy-turvy season with earning his first Scotland caps as well as being linked with a move to England. He will play against Motherwell today almost 11 months after spending a night in the cells following his arrest for verbally abusing staff outside an Edinburgh nightclub. He pleaded guilty in October to two counts of breach of the peace and was fined £1,100. That came almost three years after he was fined £1,500 for possessing an airgun. Wallace believes such things are behind him and he has now matured both on and off the field, saying: "Off the park, that's taken care of itself. I'm glad to have that behind me and I've just concentrated on the on-the-field stuff." Wallace is proud to be on the brink of 150 Hearts appearances at such a young age and is already targeting another 150. But his longer-term ambition remains to test himself on a bigger stage. Despite transfer talk back in January, he insists he has heard nothing about a potential move this summer. However, as an ambitious player, he did say: "Obviously, as a youngster, you like to set ambitions and set targets. In three or four years' time, you want to be playing at the highest level. It'd be wrong for a person of my age to not comment on that." Wallace also has big plans for the remainder of his Tynecastle career, claiming Hearts will start next season looking to challenge for the SPL title, despite struggling to make the top six this term. The Jambos left it until the final game before the split to ensure they would be playing out the season in the top half of the league and have just over half as many points as runaway leaders Rangers.  Wallace does not think scrabbling for a top-six spot is "probably" not good enough for a club of Hearts stature. But left-back Wallace has backed new manager Jim Jefferies to bring the good times back to Tynecastle and believes it is only natural to target top spot He said: "You have to, because it's a huge club, huge management, some really good players. It's not gone right this season but we put things right and we go for it. There's no reason why we can't go on and push. You've got to set targets and that's something that Hearts Football Club want to go on and achieve." Jefferies' January arrival has revitalised the Jambos, who came close to slumping to the foot of the table back in December but are now in contention for a Europa League spot. Wallace said: "It has been a topsy-turvy season. We've achieved top six and, with three games to go, it's just a case of pushing on and finishing as high as we can. It was bad at the time when we were near enough bottom of the league. But we just pulled together as a team."