First Team

Focus on Saturday, says Robbie

28th January 2022

Robbie Neilson says he’s pleased with Hearts’ January window so far, as his team gear up for a crunch clash with Motherwell at Tynecastle tomorrow.

Defensive reinforcements arrived in Gorgie last night as Toby Sibbick penned a three-and-a-half year deal in maroon: making his return after a short, but impactful, loan spell at Hearts in 2019/20.
Although originally recruited by Daniel Stendel back in 2020; Robbie revealed that positive reports on Sibbick helped seal that Toby was Robbie’s man too.
“I’m pleased to get him. It’s been on the backburner for about a month. Obviously when we knew that John had signed a contract elsewhere, we needed to start planning for the summer,” he told the media ahead of the game.
“It was helpful that he knew the city and the club already – he was very familiar with the training ground and was keen to come up. I got references about him from people who played with him and coached him, and they were glowing.
“I like January windows when you get good players in, and that’s what we’ve managed to do.”
With Motherwell set to arrive in the capital, the Jambos go into the game knowing that a victory would send them ten points clear of the fourth-placed ‘Well.
Graham Alexander’s men return to Edinburgh without top scorer Tony Watt, who completed a switch to Dundee United earlier this month. Even without the Premiership’s top marksman; Robbie stressed that Motherwell still have plenty to offer in attack.
“I expect a really tough game. They’re hard to play against, and dangerous at set-pieces. We need to bring physicality to the game, because I felt like we didn’t have that last time against them at Fir Park,” he added.
“It’ll be a different environment and pitch at Tynecastle, but we need to be ready for a physical battle. Any team who loses their top scorer is going to see to an effect on the team, but their system hasn’t changed.
“They’ve shifted Van Veen into the middle and they’ve got a really strong front three in Jordan Roberts and Connor Shields.
“The next few games are massive for us but we have to think about Saturday first. It’s a big carrot for us.”