Robbie Neilson ready to shuffle his pack for Alloa

Callum Paterson might not be risked on the plastic pitch at Alloa
Callum Paterson might not be risked on the plastic pitch at Alloa
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Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson is ready to change his team again following last week’s 3-0 win at Queen of the South.

He explained today that the line-up against Alloa on Saturday is unlikely to be the same as that which started at Palmerston Park.

Neilson has altered his team regularly this season even though Hearts have surged to the top of the Scottish Championship with an unbeaten record. He made three changes against Queen of the South despite a 5-0 win over Livingston the previous weekend.

Neilson believes each game should be treated individually because each opponent and venue have different requirements. Hearts will play a second consecutive match on astroturf this weekend and that is expected to have a bearing on the final team selection.

The biggest dilemma for Neilson may centre on the right-back area. Jordan McGhee replaced Callum Paterson in that position in Dumfries, scored a goal and helped record a clean sheet. It remains to be seen if Paterson will be risked on Alloa’s artificial pitch having only recently returned from a knee injury.

“It’s about boys coming in and doing well,” Neilson told the Evening News. “I’ve said all along we’ll pick a team that’s going to go and win the game. We did that last Saturday. I’ll have a look at it this week before we go to Alloa and I’ll pick a team. It probably won’t be the same team as last week. That’s just the way it is.

“I don’t mind changing a winnning team at all. I speak to the boys all the time about it. On a Saturday, is the best team the one that starts the game or the one that finishes it? Everyone knows they have a part to play. We took 22 players to Dumfries last week. James Keatings, Scott Gallacher, Scott Robinson and Brad McKay all came down because it’s a team and a squad. They all went to support each other.”

Neilson told yesterday’s Evening News that striker James Keatings is again expected to miss the Alloa match as he has a niggling groin problem.