First Team

Ayr United reaction: Robbie Neilson

26th December 2020

Robbie Neilson was pleased with the manner in which his players responded to falling behind against Ayr United and believes the Jambos could’ve racked up even more goals.

Stephen Kingsley’s early opener looked to have Hearts on their way but the visitors responded through Cammy Smith and Luke McCowan. That seemed to fire up the men in maroon who then went on a goal spree with Olly Lee and Liam Boyce striking and Craig Wighton bagging a brace, before Tom Walsh pulled another back right at the death.

The manager admits that a packed Tynecastle would’ve helped his side enormously but he was happy with his players’ reaction to going behind.

Speaking to Hearts TV, he said: “I thought we started the game really well. We got the goal after a few minutes and we just kind of huffed and puffed after that.

“We had a lot of possession and a few shots at goal but we just couldn’t get that second goal.

“When you’re playing at Tynecastle and it’s a full house and you score early in the game then the place erupts, the floodgates open and you push on, but we obviously don’t have that just now.

“It took Ayr United to score a goal to actually fire us back to life again, which was in one way disappointing, to lose a goal, but pleasing to show that we could recover from it.

“Then it went 2-2, 3-2, 4-2, 5-2 and it probably could’ve been more, but we can’t put ourselves in those situations regularly. The pleasing thing is that we’re scoring goals and I’m pleased with the goalscorers as well.”

Goalscorer Kingsley was a second-half casualty but Robbie revealed he took him off as a precaution after the full-back played through the pain barrier in last week’s Scottish Cup Final.

“He had a problem last week in the Cup Final and he didn’t train much this week,” he said. “He’s had a sore stomach, a muscular strain. We just felt that we were in a good position to take him off and try and get him ready for Tuesday night.”

Robbie’s interview is available to watch in full on Hearts TV by clicking here.