First Team

Arbroath Reaction: Robbie Neilson

20th March 2021

Robbie Neilson believes his side lacked composure as they were held to a 0-0 draw in Arbroath today.

In a game bereft of chances, Liam Boyce and Armand Gnanduillet went closest for the Jambos while Craig Gordon didn’t have a save to make at the other end.

Always challenging conditions thanks to a constant wind, the manager saw his team get dragged into a direct game but insists the men in maroon must handle these types of matches better.

Speaking to Hearts TV, he said: “I don’t think we performed as well as we would have liked to. The first half we found it difficult to get out with the wind and the surface.

“In the second half the wind died down a bit and we managed to get a wee bit of football played.

“It’s always difficult coming here. You’ve got to show Arbroath respect; they’ve got a great home record and they’re a very organised team. They make it difficult for you to play but we’ve got to show more composure on the ball.

“We try to pass the ball and move but I don’t think we showed it today. We got drawn into a more direct game, which was disappointing.

“We had a couple of chances but it was more the build up and the central area where we didn’t do enough. I was more disappointed that we didn’t control the game in the middle where we create chances. We’ve just got to do better in these games.”

Hearts lost the services of Stephen Kingsley in the second half with a groin injury, and Robbie thinks that will force him out of Tuesday night’s Scottish Cup tie away at Brora Rangers.

“We’ll assess him in the next couple of days,” he said. “I don’t think he’ll make Tuesday. I’m just hopeful we can maybe get him back for next Saturday.”