Neilson: Hearts players fitter than ever

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson

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SEVERAL Hearts players are showing higher fitness levels than ever before after an intense pre-season campaign.

Head coach Robbie Neilson reported today that blood analytics data taken by sports scientists at Riccarton indicate peak condition for many within his squad ahead of the new season.

Regular double training sessions this summer have helped raise fitness levels, with Neilson keen for his players to be fully prepared for a sternly competitive SPFL Championship. Hearts players had bloods taken when they reported for pre-season training at the end of June and the most recent measurements earlier this week make for positive reading. “I’m really happy with our pre-season,” explained Neilson. “The boys were tested the other day, the sports scientist takes their blood and different things so he knows exactly where they all are. He does that the day they come back for the start of pre-season and then again at the end of pre-season.

“Their fitness levels are the best they’ve been for a long, long time. There has been improvement right across the board. A lot of the players are showing levels which are the highest they’ve ever been, so that’s pleasing.

“Now it’s just preparing for the Rangers game to make sure we’re ready for that. Our focus is on that game now. It’s a case of building up towards the league games.”

Hearts face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park tomorrow in Steven Anderson’s testimonial. The friendly is Neilson’s last chance to see his side in action before their Championship campaign starts at Ibrox the following Sunday.