First Team

Eyes on the ball

17th March 2022

There may be buzz building for our Scottish Cup meeting with Hibs, but Robbie Neilson says his team must stay focused on the job at hand.

The cup draw naturally generated excitement among the maroon faithful, however, with a third-place spot still to cement, Robbie realises the important of keeping an eye on the ball when we resume Premiership business against Livingston at Tynecastle on Saturday.
 
“We should have a few back from injury which will make a big difference for our bench,” the manager told the media at press.
 
“We’re obviously looking at the timescale, but we need to keep our eye on the ball and make sure we have the players ready for Saturday.
 
“Look, when you play for Hearts – you have to win every week. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing an Edinburgh derby in a week, two weeks or six weeks: the focus has always got to be on the next game.
 
“The players are desperate to be successful, and we want to get through to the final - but we have to focus on beating beat Livingston first.
 
“I expect a very hard game. We got past them in the cup after 90 minutes and penalties, so we know the scale of the test. They’re very organised, a real threat up front and have a number of players we have to be aware of.
 
“They know the players they like to recruit, and they recruit well. It’s no surprise to see them doing well and pushing for top six again.”
 
Another big talking point at Oriam this week was on Nathaniel Atkinson; who received his first call up to Graham Arnold's senior Australia squad for World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Saudi Arabia at the end of March.
 
“Yeah, I’m delighted for him – he’s come in and done extremely well. It was a big change for him to over to Europe, Scotland, a different climate and he’s done well in a few games. Really pleased to get him into the national team,” he smiled.  
 
“I think it shows that players can come here and progress.”