First Team

Room for improvement

26th July 2014

Robbie Neilson pleased to get season underway with win, but insists Jambos still have plenty to work on.

Robbie Neilson was satisfied with his team's performance today but insisted there was plenty of room for improvement as Hearts progressed into the second round of the Petrofac Training Cup.

First-half strikes from Billy King, Osman Sow and Callum Paterson proved enough to get the win, despite Scott Davidson's last-minute consolation goal for Annan Athletic.

The win was marred somewhat by an injury sustained by Paterson in stoppage time at the end of the first half. Treatment continued into the interval, and the head coach admitted it had tempered some of his happiness.

"We need to wait and see with Callum", said Robbie. "Hopefully it's not too bad. He has a protective boot on, and we'll see about sending him for a scan. He just got his studs caught in the grass, and maybe hurt his medial ligament.

"It takes the shine off the day a bit, and it's obviously disappointing but gives others opportunities. Liam Smith is someone we're looking to push on this season, Jordan McGhee can play there too, so we have a few options in that area."

Despite the victory, Robbie admitted the performance could be improved upon- conceding that the team had gotten 'too comfortable' once they were 3-0 ahead, and insisted they wouldn't be allowed to get so sloppy again later in the season.

"In periods we did well, especially in the first half. When we got to 3-0 it was too comfortable, we took our foot off the gas, got slack, took risks, and it's extremely important we don't do that.

"If we lose a goal in the last minute in the league it could cost us down the line, as goal difference could be vital."

The head coach was pleased, however, with his team's attacking as Hearts threatened to run riot against their League Two opponents, with over 20 efforts on goal in the 90 minutes.

Although they only converted three chances, Robbie was happy with the manner of the attacking, saying that as long as they keep creating opportunities, the goals will flow.

"We created lots of chances, the boys were getting into great positions. I thought the two wingers did really well, Osman gave us a lot up top too. So far he's been great, he's still getting fit. he has a long way to go yet, but he has pace and power, and he'll be really important for us this season."