First Team

Robbie's ready for the Fair City

17th February 2022

Progress is at the centre of Robbie Neilson’s mind as Hearts gear up for Saturday’s trip to McDiarmid Park. 

The Jambos return to league business in Perthshire after seeing off Livingston in the Scottish Cup last week. This week at Oriam has marked the first in a while that Hearts have been able to prepare for a weekend game without a midweek match to contend with as well.
 
And Robbie reckons calmer waters in the fixture schedule can help Hearts get their mojo back
 
"It's been a while, hasn't it? We had something like four midweeks on the bounce. It's been good to get some proper training and preparation,” he told the media ahead of the game.
 
"Previously it's just been game and recovery, now I can spend a bit more time shoring up how we should be playing and defending. I think the schedule took a toll on all the teams apart from Rangers and Celtic, who have a much bigger squad than everyone else. They can rotate five or six and bring in international quality, which very few people can do.
 
"I don't think we're far off it {getting back to early season displays} to be honest with you. First half of the last couple of games, we've started really well. When we haven't had the goals to take us clear in the second half it's been a bit more difficult. We just need to take the chances that fall our way.”
 
Hearts haven’t recorded a win in the Fair City for a number of years, but the manager insisted that historical records don’t cross his mind when preparing for the present.
 
"For us, it doesn't really matter what happened ten years ago - we're only focused on what we have to do on Saturday and the here and now. They're a very well organised team, but it's up to us to go up there and try and put in a performance.
 
"They've picked up quite a few injuries. Hendry's out, Hallberg's out and the goalie's (Zander Clark) is injured now too. We know what we must do against them.”