First Team

Gaffer's disappointment

19th March 2016

Robbie Neilson admitted Hearts weren't at the races against St Johnstone.

Robbie Neilson admitted Hearts had no excuse after a below-par display in today’s defeat to St Johnstone at Tynecastle.

The Jambos failed to match their recent form as a Murray Davidson double and a late Darnell Fisher strike earned a win for the Perth Saints.

“I’m disappointed, we’ve been doing well this season but today wasn’t good enough,” said Neilson. “We’re not a good enough side to win a match when five or six players don’t perform at all. We just didn’t hit the mark today.

“We were a bit naive from set plays, which is something we normally pride ourselves on. We didn’t give up a lot of chances from open play, but they won’t score two easier goals this season. We shouldn’t be getting beat 3-0 at home by anybody.”

Skipper Alim Ozturk missed out for the Jambos today, a muscle complaint the reason for his absence, but the head coach insisted it wasn’t down to just one problem today, with a young defence having a tough game against a physical and experienced St Johnstone side.

“We’ve still got a young, inexperienced defence,” he continued. “With three 19 year olds on the pitch, mistakes are liable to happen, but they will learn more from games like today than they would from brushing the opposition aside.

“We weren’t at the races today. We tried to change things, the formation, the shape but we just couldn’t get that spark that was missing. We have a big game against Celtic in a fortnight now and we’ll have a full squad for that one. Alim had a tight hamstring, but he’ll be fine by then.”