First Team

Robbie: Early return was all about Hampden

29th October 2020

Robbie Neilson says the reason his Hearts team came back to training so early in the summer is because all roads lead to Hampden.

The Jambos returned to training at the start of August, despite not being able to begin their competitive campaign until two months later.

The manager has revealed that he wanted his players back early in order to give them as much time as possible to prepare for this weekend’s huge Scottish Cup semi-final against Hibs.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Robbie said: “I came in the middle of June and we knew the game was coming though we weren’t sure exactly when it was going to be, but we knew it would be towards the start of the season.

“It’s the reason we spoke to Ann about coming in a lot earlier. Yes, it was to get off to a good start in the league, but to be honest it was really about making sure we were ready for this game.

“This game has been at the back of everybody’s minds, and the forefront of most fans’ minds, for the last four or five months. We know the extent of the game. We know we have to be ready for it, and we feel we are.

“I’m more than confident that we’ll be up to speed and at the same level as Hibs. The players are in a good place. We’ve actually come off it a bit this week just to make sure that they’re ready and I don’t have any qualms about it at all.”

Robbie’s press conference is available to watch in full on Hearts TV by clicking here.