First Team

Robbie targeting more goals

28th December 2020

Robbie Neilson believes Hearts can continue to bang in the goals after watching his side bag another five on Boxing Day.

The Jambos sit top of the league and top of the average goals scored charts across all four leagues in Scotland following Saturday’s 5-3 win over Ayr United.

Averaging 3.25 goals a game, the manager has revealed he’s happy with the team’s style of play, which is reaping the rewards of goals from all over the pitch.

Speaking to Hearts TV, Robbie said: “We’ve got good players, which always helps. We have a number of players behind the strikers that can score goals as well.

“We’ve got two full-backs that have been scoring goals. We could do with getting a few more goals from the centre-halves, I think. I’ve been speaking to them about that, trying to get goals at set plays.

“I’ve been pleased with the way we’ve played. We get the ball forward quickly, we try and maintain the pressure on teams and if we do that then we’ll score goals.

“We’re reiterating all the time to the players about it; you get the ball forward and get it wide and get numbers in the box. If we get numbers in the box then we’ll score goals.”

Up next is Tuesday night’s Championship match with Arbroath. The previous meeting between the two sides did not produce the level of goals seen in most other Hearts matches, with the men in maroon edging a tricky Gayfield encounter 1-0 courtesy of Craig Wighton’s second-half strike.

The manager knows enough about Dick Campbell’s team to expect that the Red Lichties will prove to be difficult opponents, which is why the Jam Tarts will be preparing for this one as thoroughly as they did for the Scottish Cup Final.

“Arbroath are a very well-organised, disciplined, good team,” he said. “We had a real difficult game up there, we got the 1-0 win but it could’ve went either way. They had a couple of good opportunities, we had some good saves from Craig.

“I’ve watched their games recently. I went to watch them against Ayr United up there and they were comfortable winners, and then the game on Saturday they lost 1-0 to Dunfermline but it was a 92nd minute winner.

“Whether you’re at the top or at the bottom everyone can everyone on their day, so we have to make sure that we prepare properly and we prepare as well as we did for the cup final as we do for this game to make sure that we’re ready.”

Robbie’s pre-match preview is available to watch in full on Hearts TV by clicking here.