First Team

Fight on our hands

23rd January 2015

Head coach anticipating difficult Falkirk clash tomorrow but welcomes back Osman Sow into the squad.

Robbie Neilson believes he will face a vastly improved Falkirk team on Saturday, compared to the one that was beaten 4-1 at Tynecastle at the start of the season. 

The Jambos ran out comfortable winners back on August 30 and have since beaten the Bairns on their own patch.

But the head coach knows Peter Houston’s men visit Gorgie this weekend a galvanised side, having lost only one match in nine.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Robbie said: “They’re on a very good run since we played them at the Falkirk Stadium. I think they went eight games unbeaten, which is fantastic for them.

“I think it’s maybe taken them a wee bit of time to find their feet, get the right formation and the right personnel as well.

“Peter Houston’s doing a great job now. For the size of club and budget they’re doing fantastic.

“It’s going to be another difficult game. I thought the first half at the Falkirk Stadium, we dominated because they sat off us and then they came out in the second-half and pressed us and made it really difficult. It was probably the hardest second-half we’ve had all season.

“I expect them to probably do that again right from the start at Tynecastle and make life difficult for us.

“I think it probably will be a more difficult game than when they came to Tynecastle at the start of the season. They’ve been together longer, Peter’s had a chance to implement more of things, and James McDonaugh as well.

“They’ve got two guys that are good coaches and I’m sure they’ve improved the team since the first month of the season when we played them.”

Robbie confirmed that he will have the services of Osman Sow at the weekend, following his return from an 11-week injury lay-off.

“I’m delighted Osman came back during the week,” he said. “He played 45 minutes in the U20s match against Hibs on Tuesday and did really well. He’s been in full training so he’ll be involved on Saturday.

“He’ll be in the squad and we’ll make the decision whether he gets some involvement in the game. It’s gives us options. He gives us great pace and physicality up front, which is great.”

Robbie’s press conference is available to watch in full on HeartsTV.