ROBBIE NEILSON insisted Hearts must beat the best if they want to lift the Scottish Cup after the Edinburgh club drew Aberdeen in the fourth round.
The match at Tynecastle is easily the tie of the round and Neilson is anticipating an high-octane afternoon in Gorgie.
Winning silverware is one of the head coach’s aspirations this season and he acknowledged that they only way to do this is to beat the best teams in the country. Both Hearts and Aberdeen are in the top three of the Ladbrokes Premiership and are now set for mammoth Scottish Cup tie on the weekend of January 9 and 10 next year.
Neilson declared himself pleased with a home draw in a competition in which Hearts have fallen at the first hurdle in each of the last three years.
“It’s pleasing to get a tie at home,” he told the Evening News. “Aberdeen are a tough side and they’ve already beaten us at Tynecastle this season in the league but this will be a good game. I expect a good crowd and a good atmosphere.
“If you’re going to try and win the Scottish Cup then you need to beat good teams. You need to play Aberdeen at Tynecastle or go up to Pittodrie and beat them. This gives us a good chance. It’s two teams competing at the top end of the league so this will be a good game.”
Hearts will set out to change an unwanted statistic when the tie comes round. Since beating Hibs 5-1 in the 2012 Scottish Cup final, they have failed to score a single goal in the tournament. They lost to Hibs the following season before Celtic eliminated them in the last two competitions.
“There’s only one way we can change that and that’s by going out and scoring a goal,” said Neilson.
“There’s not much we can do about it until the game takes place. “We’re confident we can change that statistic against Aberdeen.”