Robbie Neilson: Hearts ready to bounce back

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson
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Robbie Neilson admits Hearts were devastated losing their unbeaten league record against Falkirk and stressed they will be fully motivated to return to winning form at Alloa.

The Tynecastle head coach was less than pleased with a 3-2 home defeat which ended a 20-match unbeaten run in the Championship. He insisted there should be no repeat but backed his players to respond in the correct manner this Saturday when they head to Clackmannanshire.

“The form so far this season has been great. We’re disappointed to lose a game at home having scored two goals. We should, having scored twice, go on and win the game, but we just need to move on,” Neilson told the Evening News.

“I’m not going to be in the dressing-room shouting and screaming and saying this and that. You have to be level and calm and try to motivate the players to go again.

“They want to win every game because they’re all winners. They don’t want teams coming to Tynecastle and taking three points from us. It shouldn’t happen and we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Neilson was quick to absolve teenage centre-back Jordan McGhee of any blame.

He deputised at centre-back for the suspended Alim Ozturk and conceded the penalty for Falkirk’s first goal, from which John Baird made the score 1-1.

“He made a mistake coming in [at the penalty] but other than that he did well,” stressed Neilson.

“He was playing against two guys who are good players – Baird and Rory Loy – and I thought he did really well. Jordan has just signed a new contract with us and he’ll be a big player in the future for us.

“I thought he handled himself well for an 18-year-old boy coming in to play centre-half against two experienced players.”

Hearts begin building up to the Alloa game tomorrow when they return to training at Riccarton. By then, according to Neilson, all thoughts of the Falkirk match will be banished.

“The boys were in yesterday, they’re off today and then they’re back in tomorrow,” continued Neilson. “When Tuesday comes, Saturday’s game is finished. We need to make sure we go again and I’m sure they will.

“They’re all guys who want to do well, who want to win games, and they’ll be desperate to get three points at Alloa now.”

Meanwhile, Hearts Under-20s are in action at Riccarton tomorrow against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The match kicks off at 2pm.