First Team

Robbie: Right response

31st January 2015

Head coach pleased with reaction to first league defeat as Jambos run riot in Alloa.

Robbie Neilson hailed his team’s performance as they bounced back from a first league defeat of the season to rout Alloa Athletic in this evening’s match at the Indodrill Arena. 

Two long range efforts in the opening ten minutes from Miguel Pallardo and James Keatings gave the Jambos a dream start, and although Greig Spence reduced the arrears, Jamie Walker and Callum Paterson sealed a 4-1 win to give the league leaders a 16 point lead.

“We started the game well, like last week, but crucially we pushed on today,” said Robbie. “We kept our passing game going, we didn’t panic when Alloa got the goal back and we could have scored a few more than we did.”

The head coach praised the professionalism his side showed in seeing the game out, especially after conceding on the hour mark, as well as their ability to share the responsibility of scoring throughout the side, particularly Miguel Pallardo who netted his first goal for Hearts with a sensational strike from distance. 

“We’ve got lots of players who can score goals, so it’s good to spread them around the team. I was delighted for Miguel to get his first goal today, it was a fantastic strike. Jamie Walker took his goal well too.

“At 2-0 up, you can start coasting and get a bit careless. It can be precarious. If you lose a goal, it can give the opposition a lift, but we responded really well and kept going. We went about it in the correct manner.”

Lastly, Robbie confirmed he was happy with the position the team was in, having secured their biggest lead of the season so far as Rangers are in League Cup duty this weekend. 

The Jambos will also have the opportunity to extend it to 19 points next weekend as well, albeit the Gers would have 3 games in hand on the Edinburgh side, with both teams still to meet on two more occasions.

“We’re happy where we are. We’d rather have the points on the board than have games in hand. We have 14 games left, and our focus is on Livingston next week where we’ll look to give ourselves a 19 point lead.”