Robbie Neilson was pleased with his side’s 4-2 win over Shelbourne on Saturday and believes playing peak-fitness teams this early in pre-season will pay dividends.
The Jambos won both matches in last week’s tour of Ireland, despite both Bohemians and Shelbourne being nearly two-thirds of the way through their domestic season.
And the head coach revealed that was exactly why he brought his team over the water to Dublin.
Speaking to HeartsTV, he said: “It’s been a great tour and we’ve had a couple of good games and a lot of hard training sessions. It sets us up to come back to Scotland and get into the games again.
“Shelbourne were fit and that’s the reason we came here, so we could get competitive games right away and it gives it an edge.
“It was good to get some goals as well and good to get Juanma scoring his first goal for the club.”
Eyebrows were raised on Saturday when Alim Ozturk limped off in the first-half, but Robbie told HeartsTV that was simply a precaution after the defender felt a tightness in his thigh.
“Alim just felt a bit tight,” he said. “He missed a bit of pre-season at the start because he had an operation on his stomach at the end of last season, and he’s following Ramadan at the moment as well.
“It’s difficult for him and Soufian at the moment, fitness-wise and energy-wise. So he was a wee bit tired and felt his thigh tighten up so we decided to take him off.”