First Team

We'll get sharper

30th June 2016

Robbie Neilson confident Hearts will progress following 2-1 victory over FC Infonet.

Robbie Neilson is confident Hearts will progress to the next round of the Europa League following Thursday's 2-1 1st leg victory over FC Infonet.

After falling behind to a lovely volley from Harin, a Prince Buaben penalty and an own goal gave Hearts a narrow lead to head into next week’s tie in Tallinn.

“It’s a tough result to take over to Estonia,” Robbie admitted. “Giving away the away goal was something we really wanted to avoid, but we lost an early goal and we looked really rusty at times.

“I thought we did really well to fight back, but we couldn’t add to it, so it’s given us a lot of work to do over there. I know they’re midway through the season, but we will be much sharper next week, this did us the world of good tonight.

“The first competitive 90 minutes of the season will really help the players, and we can build on that in training. We just couldn’t kick on due to tiredness and a lack of fitness. Usually we get a six week pre-season, but we’re a fortnight into it.

“They’re a really experienced side, one player has over 100 caps for Estonia, so they’ve played in big matches before, and it’ll be really difficult over there.”

When asked how he would approach the second leg, the head coach said that having seen their opponents up close, they’d be able to better implement a style of play and a battle plan in order to advance into the next round of the competition.

“Every European game is a challenge, but we’re ahead and we have the advantage. If we go over there and score the first goal, we’re in the driving seat. Seeing them up close means we know what we need to do next week.

“We’ll implement our gameplan better, as our fitness will improve. They need to beat us so they can open up and then we can play into that, because we’re a team that likes to counter, so I’m confident we can progress.”