First Team

Ruthless display needed

3rd November 2016

Hearts must be clinical against Saints, insists Robbie.

The Jambos return to Tynecastle on Saturday as they bid to defeat St Johnstone at the third time of asking.

Hearts have twice come away from Perth empty handed so far this season but Head Coach Robbie Neilson insists his side will be well prepared come Saturday.  Speaking to the press on Thursday morning, Robbie said:

“It’ll be a big game for us. Obviously we’ll be marking Remembrance Day as well which is a huge part of the club and all the players are aware of that.

“In the two previous games against them we’ve actually played very well, we’ve dominated. We went up there in the league and had 15 shots on goals but just couldn’t hit the back of the net.

“Then we were 2-1 up with ten minutes to go in the League Cup before losing two sloppy goals.”

Hearts head into Saturday’s game on the back of two tough away fixtures at Kilmarnock and Inverness CT. A 2-0 defeat at Rugby Park was followed by a spirited fightback in the Highlands that saw Robbie’s boys secure a 3-3 draw.

“They were two tough games but the pleasing thing was how we responded after going 2-0 down in Inverness.

“We got back in the game and perhaps could have won it, so we have to move on to Saturday and take the positives from that performance with us.

“We’ve had a lot of possession in games but we’ve not been penetrating enough. Take the Kilmarnock game; we dominated possession but we weren’t really aggressive enough in our passing.

“We want to be a team that controls possession and creates a lot of chances, which is something we’ve done for a large part of the season so far but in the Killie game and part of the Inverness game we didn’t do that.”

The Head Coach is hopeful that more aggressive passing will help open up Saints on Saturday and enable his strikers to hit the back of the net.

“With strikers you look for them to play for the team and get themselves into good positions. Then of course you want goals, but we have to make sure we get into good positions and then the goals will come.

“Strikers have ups and downs, but we’re creating chances and that’s the main thing. The worrying thing is when you don’t create anything but we’re doing that.

“We scored three goals last Saturday so if we do that every week then we’ll be happy. “