First Team

Robbie "satisfied" with good day's work

18th January 2022

Robbie Neilson was pleased with "a good day's work", as Hearts returned to league action with a 2-0 win over St. Johnstone. 

A Josh Ginnelly brace sealed three points for the boys in maroon in the first game at Tynecastle with a capacity crowd since restrictions were lifted.

And with Motherwell slipping to defeat against Ross County, opening up an eight-point gap between third and fourth, the manager's joy was doubled on a good night for all of a maroon persuasion. 

"I'm delighted, I thought the boys performed really well. St. Johnstone are, in my opinion, in a false position in the league. They're a strong team, very well organised," he told Hearts TV

"We knew how tough tonight was going to be: so to get that goal right after half-time gave us a big lift. It's a big three points in the hunt for that third-place.

"These are always the best nights, aren't they? It's great when you come in after a game and you find out that the other teams round about you have dropped points. We've got a Scottish Cup game to come, and then the chance to cut a nine-point gap against Celtic down to six."

Robbie was pleased to see Josh Ginnelly return to scoring form after a tactical tweak at the break saw Gino notch twice in front of the Gorgie end. 

The manager also provided an update on Craig Halkett after the defender was substituted early. 

"We made a change at half time: moved Gino a wee bit to the right and tried to hit them on the transiton. There's always spaces there, and it worked inside twenty seconds! I thought the players did very well there.

"There's no doubts with Gino: if he gets the ball in behind and gets away, then no one's catching him in this league.

"Craig had an ankle injury from a previous game. He felt it go a wee bit, so we took him off as a precaution. We were 2-0 up so we throught it was right to keep him well for Saturday."