Robbie: We can take the positives22 June 2023
The Jambos went ahead after six minutes through a Josh Ginnelly header but goals from Daizen Maeda, Kyogo Furuhashi and Sead Haksabanovic ensured Celtic took the three points.
Speaking to Hearts TV at full-time, Neilson said:
“Ultimately, we lost the game. So, I get frustrated when we say it was a valiant effort. We wanted to come here and try and win.
I thought for 80 minutes we were outstanding. We were in the game, we got the goal and then we had a couple of slack moments and they get their two goals.
“I just thought in the last 15 minutes we lost our energy. We didn’t get up the park and put pressure on them and they started to pop it about and get the third goal.
“Some of our play tonight was outstanding. We popped it about really well. I have watched a lot of games at Celtic Park over the years and some of our passages of play tonight were as good as I’ve seen any opposition team play here especially in Scotland.
“So, we have to take some positives from tonight but ultimately we’ve lost a game."
Looking ahead to Saturday, Neilson concluded:
“We need the fans on Saturday. The players were outstanding tonight with the few hundred fans that we had here tonight, so if we can get 17,000 home fans behind us on Saturday, I think that will help us see the game through until the end."