First Team

Robbie ready for Tangerine test

4th March 2022

With third firmly in Hearts’ crosshairs, Robbie Neilson praised the quality within HMFC’s ranks ahead of an exciting clash with Dundee United tomorrow.

The Jambos travel to Tayside to cross swords with the Terrors at Tannadice on league business. A win for Hearts would see our grip on third place tightened, whilst victory for the Arabs would bring United within touching distance of fourth.
 
It’s a high stakes game, but the manager thinks it’s a good thing for Scottish football, highlighting the strength of every team in this year’s top flight.
 
“This is probably the strongest the league has been for a number of years,” he explained.
 
“The standard is high: everyone in the league have some quality players. It’s very difficult for teams to get a run of three or four wins on the bounce going.
 
“Rangers and Celtic have managed to sail away over the course of January and February. We’ve got good players; guys who can create opportunities and score. We’re pretty strong at the back, with defenders scoring goals that compliment the guys at the front. It’s a good mix to have.
 
“We can talk about tactics and formation but, at the end of the day, it’s the players who go out onto the pitch get the job done. At key moments at both ends of the park – the boys usually come through.
 
“It was good to score {from a corner, vs Aberdeen}. I think our last one was Craig Halkett at Ibrox earlier in the season. It’s something we should be good at because we do delivery well and have guys who can be aggressive in the box for them.”
 
Tam Courts and Dundee United have enjoyed a strong season so far, putting in some impressive performances in Courts’ maiden campaign as manager.
 
Robbie spoke highly of his Dundonian counterpart but remained confident Hearts would travel with no fear, noting our two impressive wins over the Tangarines already this season.
 
“I think Tam’s done a great job there. They had a lot of pressure on them to do well when they got promoted but they’ve managed to stabilise. They’ve got a good core group of players who’ll be hunting for top six again.
 
It’ll be interesting: they’ve flitted between a back three and a back four. That said, we’ll play the way we always play. We got a good result up there earlier in the season, and again at Tynecastle, so we’ll go and see what happens.”