'Cool Kingsley', 'Flying start', 'lone striker' - Three takeaways from Hearts' demolition job on Dundee

Joel Sked’s analysis from Tynecastle Park as Hearts routed Dundee 6-2 to lay down an early marker for the season ahead.

By Joel Sked
Saturday, 17th October 2020, 12:00 pm
Liam Boyce deserved his goal from the penalty spot. Picture: SNS
Liam Boyce deserved his goal from the penalty spot. Picture: SNS

Cool and composed Kingsley

On Thursday Robbie Neilson said he was keen to sign Stephen Kingsley as soon as he got in the door at Tynecastle with the expected departure of Aaron Hickey. He had to be patient but already the left-back looks like an excellent signing. Against Dundee he scored two wonderful goals but aside from that was his coolness, composure on the ball, reading of the game and success in defensive battles, while constantly offering an attacking solution where he could. Hearts have had their left-back issues but Kingsley may be the club’s most complete player in that position since a certain Greek star in the mid-2000s.

Off to a flyer

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Without fans in attendance, there was always the concern that the game would start flat and take time to find a flow. Neilson has been hammering home the point that the onus is on his players to play with intensity. They did just that as they came out the blocks on the front foot with pace, aggression and some verve thrown in for good measure. The team are in a position where they could have games wrapped up well before half-time. Dundee are, on paper, the team’s closest challengers but on the pitch they looked miles off. With international experience throughout the team and now plenty of speed and energy, Hearts may be difficult to keep up with during this season which is more 27-game 10km than 36-game marathon.

Liam Boyce lone striker

Within the first minute of the match, the striker won the ball back to allow Jordan Roberts to run at the defence and played a lovely first time cushioned header into the path of Josh Ginnelly. Any concern that being away with Northern Ireland for international duty for the last ten days or so would have an impact were dispelled. Boyce had an excellent game and showed why Neilson opted for him over midweek hat-trick hero Craig Wighton. The 29-year-old put in an excellent lone striker role, with clever passes, the intelligence of when to make runs or drop deep and the awareness to find team-mates. It was all the more impressive up against three centre-backs.

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