Barrie McKay was back to his creative best on Saturday afternoon, chipping in with two assists as Heart of Midlothian moved one step closer to breaching the 70-point barrier for only the second time.

A delightful piece of skill and an excellent cross from the winger led to Kenneth Vargas' opener at Tynecastle Park before an expertly-timed through ball from McKay sent Alan Forrest through for a second after the break. Lawrence Shankland then wrapped up the three points with a neat finish in second-half stoppage time.

McKay, who missed much of the season as he recuperated from knee surgery, was asked about his return to fitness, his link-up play with Shankland, and the prospect of European football next season.

Here's everything he said.

READ MORE: Barrie McKay stands out as Hearts reach highest points tally since 2005/06

You must be feeling good after getting two assists?

I just didn't want to go the full season without doing anything! It was good. It's a good win for the boys and I thought we played some really good stuff. Shanks gets his goal at the end that gets him closer to 30.

What’s your plan for the summer?

I think probably just train as hard as I can in the off-season. Usually I'd take a bit of a break. Because of how many games I have played recently, I don't think I need it this year. I probably need a lot of fitness work, strength work and making sure I am in a good position come pre-season. Hopefully really kick on next year.

Will you be going on runs on holiday? Do you have a personal trainer?

Definitely. I work with a guy in the summer. Last year I never got that because I had the operation in my ankle. Came back from that and did my knee. Came back from that and did my knee again. It's been a frustrating season but if I can get to the summer and get a bit of a break, then get ready to go next season.

Are you looking forward to European football again next season?

Since I came here I have played next to every game. This season you are watching from the side but the boys have done great. They have got us third. They have got us European football so today, it's good to chip in a wee bit and hopefully next year I can chip in a lot more.

Is it frustrating trying to work your way back to full fitness?

It's probably getting better now. When I was coming back the last time I was probably more frustrated at myself. Stuff you usually do without thinking about isn't coming off. You get frustrated at yourself more than anything and it's just something you need to deal with. You are not going to be as sharp as you were when fully fit. It's about building that up. You speak to people who have been injured and sometimes they say it can be however long you are out, that's how long it can take you to get back. You need to try and get through the bad times and hopefully good times come.

Getting two assists must be a boost?

Definitely. I know when I play I can help the team. I think I am different to the other wingers we have got. In the sense I see different passes. I think I can help the team in that way, players maybe make different runs when I am on the ball. Thankfully [on Saturday] I showed that.

How important is it to have guys like Vargas, Forrest and Shankland making different runs?

Shanks is such an intelligent player and I don't think he really gets the credit he deserves for the difference in his game. He is known as a goal scorer but he does have a lot more. His game intelligence is top and he always seems to be in good positions. Maybe now, he'll stand in a position because he knows I'll find him with the pass. It's about building those connections again.

READ MORE: Lawrence Shankland's pursuit of 30, impressive tifo and better goal balance

Does he make your job easier?

He has scored the goals he has, he's the biggest threat in our team. Teams try and nullify that and hope that nobody else scores goals but his game intelligence is top and the thing he can do on the pitch... he doesn't touch the ball but he drags people out of position or he'll pick up the ball a wee bit deeper. He'll like to be further up the pitch scoring goals but he brings people into play and it definitely helps the other players.

How important do you think his goal will be for the summer?

I think it will be massive. It gets him closer to 30. When you look at his overall play you see his dry spell as a couple of games but it's just because of the form he has been on in front of goal, you never see him shy away from the ball, shy away from shots. He does so much more for the team than score goals and I think that will help him with his performances going into the summer.

Where does he rank in terms of the strikers you have played with?

I think he is right up there with all the different types of goals he scores. They are not just six-yard tap-ins. Usually with someone who scores that many goals it can be like that where everybody else makes them. I think this season he has properly kicked on and scored all different types of goals, from outside the box and just everywhere.

Do you think it is a likely prospect that both Craig and Zander will go to the Euros?

Definitely. Craig was in the last squad and if I was guessing Zander is a guarantee to go. He played in the games before the more recent ones. I think it is a question for Steve Clarke. It depends on how many goalies he is going to take because I can't imagine he is going to take four and one will miss out. Three of them have been playing and Craigy is coming back. That's his target to get into that squad.

You see his experience around the squad even when he is not playing. Do you think there is a place for that?

The goalies haven't got many caps between them but they are all top goalies so that's what he is going to look at. He's got players who have done it for him before and he seems like a loyal guy. Craig is putting himself in that conversation especially because he has played a couple of games now.

Considering some of the guys who are still to come into the team, injuries and pre-contract, how encouraging is that moving forward?

We've had difficulties with injuries again this season. When Boycie and Halks are back fit they make a difference to the team as well. They are two quality players. Hopefully we see them back pre-season and they are ready to go.