Robbie Neilson says Hearts won’t change style

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson
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Hearts will continue their flowing passing style of football in the Scottish Premiership next season as head coach Robbie Neilson builds on the foundations set last year.

He explained today that the team’s ethos and philosophy will remain the same in the top flight following their runaway success in the Championship.

Neilson secured the Spanish midfielder Miguel Pallardo on a new one-year contract on Friday and sees him as integral to the plans for next season. Hearts’ style of play, as was the case for much of this season, will centre around possession football and controlling the midfield area.

“It will be similar to last year because we want to control the game,” Neilson told the Evening News. “We want our midfielders getting a lot of touches on the ball. It’s important we get the best out of our good young players and make sure they see a lot of the ball and get into good positions. Not a lot will change in terms of our playing style.”

However, there are also plans afoot to ensure Hearts are more defensively rigid against the better teams. “We know we’ve got good players and it’s important you have good players in good areas of the park. We were able to do that with the way we played this season,” continued Neilson. “There will be times when we will be more defensive, which is something we will really focus on over the summer. We need to make sure we don’t concede a lot of goals. That will give us a base to go and play.”

Neilson is currently finalising plans for the rest of Hearts’ pre-season campaign after confirming a trip to Dublin at the start of July.

“I’m just trying to get things done, get the rest of pre-season sorted out first. We’ll wait till the fixtures are out for next season and, once we know them, then we know what we’re doing. We can start preparing for the first game and get going,” he said.