First Team

Every point matters

13th September 2014

Robbie Neilson focuses on positives as away draw at Dumbarton puts Hearts top of the league again.

Robbie Neilson tried to look at today's 0-0 draw with Dumbarton as a point gained, rather than focusing on any negatives of the performance.

After a bruising game at the Bet Butler Stadium, which left three Hearts stars limping around the pitch, the Jambos dropped their first points of the season as Ian Murray's Sons side proved a tough defensive side to break down.

Osman Sow had the best chance of the first half, his low effort well saved by keeper Danny Rogers, while Sam Nicholson - still plugging away after a sore 90 minutes - crashed a header off the crossbar in injury time as both sides settled for a point.

"We didn't play as well as can today", he conceded. "We were dwelling on the ball, taking too long to do things, and the pitch was sticky so we weren't able to pass the ball around the way we wanted to, but these aren't excuses.

"Dumbarton were well set up, they were well prepared for us, and in how we play today. At the end of the day, it's a point, a cleansheet and we're back to the top of the league."

"It was never going to be easy here. They sit back, make it hard for you to penetrate in the right areas, and we didn't do enough to break them down today. We'll aim for a win next week and get back on track".

Kevin McHattie was forced from the field of play early in the match, and Robbie admitted he was concerned about the extent of the injury that the Scotland U21 cap suffered. In addition, Sam Nicholson struggled with one too many fouls committed against him and Jordan McGhee needed treatment in stoppage time.

"We had bad luck with injuries today", he continued. "Kevin looks like he's got a bad one. He's hurt his knee and he's off for a scan tomorrow. The injuries shouldn't have affected the way we played, though. That's what you have a squad for."