First Team

One game at a time

23rd August 2014

Robbie Neilson not getting carried away, although admits his pleasure at super 4-0 victory over Raith.

Hearts are still a work-in-progress, but Robbie Neilson was pleased nonetheless after his team won 4-0 at Stark's Park in Saturday's match with Raith Rovers.

James Keatings was the hat-trick hero, the signing from Hamilton notching a treble in his first league start as the Jambos went to the top of the SPFL Championship.

After the match, Robbie refused to get carried away despite a bright start to the league campaign:

"I'll take that, but ask me again in ten games and we'll see how we're doing", he said. "We've started well but we must maintain it to win the title."

Robbie has stated that Hearts will need to treat every game equally this season, despite the temptation to focus mainly on games against Rangers and Hibs. The players heeded Robbie's calls, with a professional job in dispatching the Rovers today.

"Games against the likes of Rangers and Hibs take care of themselves. These are the bread-and-butter matches that will prove hardest over the season. We had 4000 fans here today, so the big crowd would have Raith up for the game as well.

"They started faster than we did, but we kept our composure and once we started passing it through them, the game opened up and we took control."

James Keatings showed what he was all about today, with a fine hat-trick. Two penalty box finishes in the first half were complimented by a beautiful free-kick before the hour mark. Robbie revealed what drew him to want to sign the highly rated former Celtic striker.

"I brought James in because he's a goalscorer. We need different types of players in the squad. For example, Osman Sow is strong and fast. James is a penalty box player, deadly around the area. Gary Oliver drops deep and opens space up. Dale Carrick gets in behind the defence and Soufian El Hassnaoui is technically gifted and offers something else.

"James might have played today regardless of Osman's suspension. We wanted to change the shape and we have the options to do so now. The players are buying into the philosophy, and winning games in this style can only breed confidence. However, we're taking nothing for granted. There's still 33 games to go."