Hearts players hailed for handling pressure

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson

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Hearts coach Robbie Neilson believes his players’ ability to perform under high pressure is helping them handle the intensity of the league run-in.

The Edinburgh club are edging closer to the Scottish Championship title and Neilson feels having the right characters is aiding their cause.

Ahead of Rangers’ match with Cowdenbeath tonight, Hearts are on course to win the league and secure automatic promotion at Ibrox on the first weekend of next month. One slip by the Glasgow club before then and Neilson’s side could be champions before the month is out, provided they win all fixtures.

What pleases the head coach most is that experienced figures in the camp are now exerting greater influence as the countdown to the title intensifies. “It’s what you want to be involved in when you get into football. You want to be part of a team that’s going for league title and playing in pressure games. It’s a part of being in football at a high level and it’s a privilege to have it,” Neilson told the Evening News.

“There are a lot of players out there who don’t have that so it’s great for us. You want guys who have the right character because you need character at this stage of the season. Players must continue to perform under the pressure and our boys have done that so far. We had a great result in our last game, beating Cowdenbeath 10-0, but now we need to do it again against Dumbarton this weekend.

“We speak about how to handle the pressure of being favourites going into games, and about how we need to be patient. We believe in the