First Team

Encouraging signs for Robbie

18th July 2014

Head coach delighted with new style of play as Hearts show different side in glamour tie with Manchester City.

Robbie Neilson declared himself satisfied with the 'encouraging signs' from his team in tonight's glamour friendly with English Premier League champions Manchester City.

The Citizens were the victors, despite trialist Osman Sow's second half equaliser, as goals from Scott Sinclair and Aleksandar Kolarov - from the penalty spot - gave City a 2-1 win.

After the game, the new head coach expressed his pleasure at the style of football his team showed, something that he's been keen to implement since taking over.

"I was pleased with the lads", said Robbie. "I thought we passed the ball well, we were courageous. The midfielders took the ball in tight areas, and we're pleased that there's no negativity if it doesn't come off."

"There's still a lot to work on but the signs are encouraging. Some of the passing and movement was good, exciting, and we just need to get more shots at goal instead of a final pass."

"We made a few mistakes and we'll iron those out, but on the whole I thought we played well and played it around quickly against a quality side."

Meanwhile, trialist Osman Sow impressed for the Jambos again, as the Swedish hitman bagged his second goal in two games with a lovely chipped finish over Willy Caballero at the start of the second half.

The gaffer admitted he was keen to get the striker to sign on the dotted line, but revealed there were still a couple of minor details to iron out before any deal could be completed.

"It's just taking a bit of time to get over the line but I'd like to get something done sooner rather than later. His goal was terrific, the timing of the run and the finish were top class. I don't think we're far away from it."

Finally, Robbie quashed any fears over Sam Nicholson's fitness after the flying winger had to be replaced early in the game due to injury.

"Sam's groin has been a bit tight recently", he explained. "He's going to be a key player for us this season, so I'd rather take him off after 10 minutes and not risk anything, he'll be fine."