First Team

Game time is key

9th July 2016

Robbie Neilson pleased to see more players gain valuable game time against Dunfermline.

Robbie Neilson insists Hearts’ trip to Dunfermline was a worthwhile exercise as he managed to get more valuable game time for other members of his squad.

With the players that defeated Infonet in Tallinn on Wednesday having the day to train by themselves ahead of this week’s trip to face Birkirkara in Malta, Robbie used the depth of his squad in the encounter with the Pars.

Despite falling to a 3-1 defeat, the head coach was satisfied with the pre-season workout across the water in Fife.

“I was pleased to get some more members of the squad some game time,” said Neilson. “We changed the entire team from the one that played in Estonia, so those who weren’t involved needed game time.

“I need them all match fit and fresh in the event that I need any of them in the coming weeks ahead, starting with Malta on Thursday. The boys who played Infonet trained this morning by themselves.

“This was a typical pre-season game,” he continued. “We were up against a strong Dunfermline side, who start their season next week, while we had a patched-up side with a lot of young players involved.

“It’s difficult to get any momentum going when things like that happen, but ultimately it’s about gaining fitness and avoiding injuries so we were successful on that front.”