First Team

Pass marks for everyone

3rd August 2014

Robbie Neilson delighted with Jambos' passing performance as Hearts win 4-0 in Perth.

Robbie Neilson was delighted with Sunday's friendly win over St Johnstone, as the Jambos ran riot in Perth.

Hearts defeated the Scottish Cup winners 4-0 in a highly polished, attacking display that saw two different sides (and David Smith, the only constant) both score two goals in each half.

Osman Sow opened the scoring with a great solo goal, before Jason Holt rifled in a long-range effort. After the break, Gary Oliver hit an impressive double to round off proceedings.

"That was good today," said the head coach. "We did a lot of things right, things we've worked on. There was a good tempo in the first half, we didn't want to treat it like a testimonial. We wanted a good game, and we brought two teams up to make sure everyone got some action."

The Jambos continued to implement their new passing game, a style that Robbie and his coaching staff have worked hard on drilling into the psyches of the squad. He was delighted to see the players continue to remain calm when pressed on the park.

"It's important we try to do the passing game properly. You can go into a big game like Rangers, and just kick the ball anywhere under pressure. It's my job as a coach to make sure they do everything properly.

"We'll make mistakes, and we know that, everyone will make a mistake, we're a growing team, so it's important that we aren't negative when they make mistakes."

Finally, the former Hearts skipper revealed he has an idea of what team he wants to use in next weekend's SPFL Championship opener with Rangers at Ibrox, but admitted the performances of certain players today had given him food for thought.

"I have an idea of what I want for Ibrox, but there are a lot of players who'll be desperate to be involved. Now we have competition for places, and everyone wants to be involved," he added.