Club News

Reaction: Robbie Neilson

1st August 2021

Robbie Neilson reserved special praise for the Hearts support after Saturday night's dramatic 2-1 victory over Celtic in Gorgie.

John Souttar leapt into the air to steer home a late winner for the Jambos, sending Tynecastle into raptures - an explosion of noise which has been so dearly missed over the course of the past year.

Speaking after the game, Robbie explained the lift the team got from the 5,000+ in the stands.

"We had five-and-a-half thousand fans in here but it felt like 20,000. 

"For them to come along and see that - it's been a long time since people have been at a live game - and to send them home happy is great.

"When the fans start putting the energy back on the pitch, especially towards the end of the game, the team starts pushing. They find that extra yard, they start being more aggressive, pressed, made runs and gave us the goal.

"Yes the players scored it, but the fans pushed us which was brilliant to feel."

On a night of numerous stand-out performances, Souttar grabbed the headlines with his late winner.

“I was delighted for everybody but especially John. He’s had a hard couple of years with his injuries," Robbie explained..

“Our job is to keep him as fit as we can. When he’s fully fit, he is a top player both attacking and defensively."

Debutant Beni Baningime picked up the Man of the Match Award after a tireless shift in central midfield and Robbie couldn't hide his delight with his performance.

"He was excellent. He lasted longer than I thought he would. He's not played a lot of football but he did exactly what we wanted him to do. He broke up play, made tackles and as he gets fit, we'll get even more of him.

"In possession he was excellent as well so I'm really pleased with him.

“It’s a brilliant start for us but it’s just a start. We need to do it next week and the week after. We start again on Monday," concluded the manager.