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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2007, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Killen blames club for Hibs exit
Chris Killen (left) and Michael Stewart
Chris Killen and Michael Stewart are set to leave Hibs
Hibernian striker Chris Killen claims he turned down the offer of a new contract because the club would not commit to a long-term deal.

The 25-year-old New Zealand international has been linked with Cardiff City and Hearts.

"It's just disappointing it's only a one-year deal, because I was looking for a bit more security than just a year," said Killen.

"I am talking to clubs willing to offer two and three-year deals."

Killen, who scored 14 goals this season, has not played since suffering an achillies injury near the end of the Scottish Cup third round tie against Aberdeen in January.

"I spoke to the club about the possibility of getting a longer deal, but they said that was all they could offer," he said.

"A club in the top half of the Championship would appeal to me.
We have now got to focus on getting a replacement in for Chris

Hibernian manager John Collins

"I'd obviously like to play in the Premiership, but I don't think that will happen given that I have been out injured.

"When I did the injury, the surgeon said it did not look good.

"After the operation, though, he was over the moon and said it was one of the best he has done."

Hibs manager John Collins is already seeking a replacement for Killen.

"The deadline for the new deal has gone, so that tells me Chris doesn't want to be here next season," Collins said.

"He's done terrifically here, so we wish him all the best.

"He's scored lots of goals for us, but it's his prerogative, coming to the end of his contract, to look for a better deal.

"There's no bitterness there at all as that's football for you these days.

"We have now got to focus on getting a replacement in for Chris."

However, Collins - who has tied up Motherwell's Brian Kerr on a pre-contract agreement - was keen to point out that there will not be wholesale squad changes at Easter Road in the summer.

Midfielder Michael Stewart is set to follow Killen out of the club.

"The nucleus will be here, there's players who will come and go like with most football clubs," he added.

"We want to strengthen every department of the squad and that's what we will do."

SEE ALSO
Collins waits for Killen response
20 Apr 07 |  Hibernian
Kerr joins Hibs on two-year deal
26 Apr 07 |  Hibernian
Stewart told Hibs days are over
19 Apr 07 |  Hibernian


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