First Team

Robbie delighted with Popescu addition

17th September 2020

Robbie Neilson has spoken of his delight at bolstering up his defence with the addition of Mihai Popescu.

The Romanian today signed a two-year deal after moving from Dinamo Bucuresti to the Jambos, subject to international clearance.

Robbie knows exactly what he’s getting having come up against the big centre-half recently, and believes he’ll slot right in to the way he wants his side to play.

Speaking to the Official Hearts Website, the manager said: “I’m delighted to get him in. It’s an area we’ve needed to cover with the injuries to John Souttar and Christophe Berra so I’m pleased we’ve managed to bring Mihai in.

“I think he’ll do well here. I know him from when he played at St Mirren and he’s got Premiership experience. He was really keen to join us because he enjoyed his time and Scotland and was looking to get back.

“He’ll do well in the Championship. He can take the ball out from the back, which is key for us because we’re expecting to have a lot of possession.

“He flies in tonight and will then quarantine for two weeks. He’s been training over the summer so he’ll already have a good level of fitness and we’ve sorted him out with gym equipment for his accommodation so he can keep going until he gets in the building.”

While Mihai won’t be involved for a couple of weeks, Robbie’s first team is in friendly action tomorrow night.

Hearts host East Fife in a closed-doors game at Tynecastle, and with a couple more bounce games organised before the friendly match against Partick Thistle on Saturday, September 26th, the games are coming thick and fast for the squad to impress ahead of the Betfred Cup season opener against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on October 6th.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow night,” Robbie said. “We’ve had a few bounce games already but this will be a proper friendly against a Scottish team.

“It will be an opportunity for a lot of the boys to get a full 90 minutes under their belts. Obviously it would be better having our fans inside the stadium but it’ll be good for the players to be at Tynecastle and, for some of them, get a bit of experience in our home environment.”