First Team

Great workout

18th July 2015

Robbie Neilson pleased with his side's display despite Preston defeat.

Robbie Neilson saw plenty of positives in his team's performance against Preston North End on Saturday afternoon, despite a 1-0 defeat to the English Championship outfit. 

Joe Garner scored the only goal of the game just after the hour mark, capitalising on a misplaced clearance by Hearts keeper Neil Alexander. The Jambos more than matched their opponents for large periods of the tie, however, much to Robbie's delight.

"We try to pass the ball out from the back so we have to accept that mistakes such as the one which lead to the goal will sometimes happen. All in all, however, it was a great workout for and I thought we played really well. We've still got a few players to come back in and it's all about building towards the St Johnstone game."

The gaffer was also pleased to see his side come up against a different type of opposition and believes the physical aspect of the game may have caught his players by surprise.

"Preston are a good side, they've been down in League One and now find themselves in the Championship, so they're a very physical side. I think the physicality surprised a few of our players as it's a very different down here compared to up in Scotland. But overall it was a great experience for us."

Soufian El Hassnaoui was forced to withdraw from the action in the dying seconds after pulling up with a knee injury which will be further assessed in the coming days. The gaffer, meanwhile, is looking forward to welcoming back several players for the visit of Everton next weekend.

"Ozturk, Gomis and Buaben will definitely be back in, possibly Juanma as well but we'll have to see."

Finally, Robbie paid tribute to the 1,600 strong maroon support who journeyed south to back the team at Deepdale.

"We took a phenomenal number of fans down and we're disappointed not to get a win for them, but their support is very much appreciated."