First Team

Preparations continue

6th May 2022

Hearts’ trips to Celtic Park have been tight and tense this season, and Robbie Neilson expects more of the same when we head along the M8 on Saturday.

The Jambos were narrowly defeated in our last visit to Parkhead back in December, with the boys in maroon arriving in Glasgow tomorrow lunchtime to face a table-topping Celtic team on the cusp of the Premiership title.
 
Other teams’ business holds little interest for Robbie though, who wants his team to leave the east end of Glasgow with a positive result.
 
“We want to go to Glasgow and win. Last time we went to Celtic Park, it was a close game. We want to try and win these games. It’ll give the club a lot of confidence if we can do that,” he told the media in his press conference.
 
“With regards to the league, what happens with Rangers and Celtic doesn’t affect us. For us, it’s about putting on a performance that gives us the right result. Tomorrow is all about us. We’ve cemented third place and we’d like to get as close to the Old Firm as we can.
 
“We’ll try and get that point gap down and go with the belief that we can come to Glasgow and win. Smith, Souttar and Devlin will all be involved with the group tomorrow. We’re gradually getting bodies back and I’m pleased with the way it’s going.”
 
The manager was also asked about how last night’s Europa League triumph would affect Scottish football, and the JTs’ preparations for the cup final – with Rangers scheduled to play at Hampden just three days after their final match against Frankfurt.
 
And with the exciting news that Hearts fans had snapped up all remaining cup final tickets, Robbie stressed that made it even more important that Hearts rounded off the league campaign on a high.
 
“We’ve been knocked for a number of years with Scottish football but you can see that it’s on the up,” he said.
 
“Teams are doing well in Europe and the national team qualified for the Euros and are now a few games away from the World Cup.
 
“To be honest, it won’t change anything about our preparations at all. We’ll prepare ourselves and focus on ourselves. We’ll watch Rangers’ games and that game as well but from our perspective it’s about getting to the cup final in the best condition we can be for the players.
 
“I’ve been told that it’s sold out now. It’s absolutely outstanding, hopefully we can get through these games with a good vein of form and then get to the final and give them something to celebrate at the end of the season.”

You can catch Robbie's full pre-Celtic press conference on Hearts TV.