Former Scotland international backs Robbie Neilson as he tells Hearts fans not to worry about next term
Former Scotland international Chris Iwelumo has defended Hearts boss Robbie Neilson and insists the blame for recent poor results lies at the door of misfiring attackers.
The BBC Sportscene pundit also cautioned supporters from looking too far into the future and worrying whether this team, who’ve drawn their last three games in the Scottish Championship, will compete for a top-six spot in the Premiership.
Though the Tynecastle side have been criticised by fans for not playing an attractive brand of football and laying waste to opponents like they were earlier in the campaign, Iwelumo feels they’re still an entertaining side to watch while remaining on course for their No.1 priority this term.
He told The Terrace Scottish Football Podcast: "The only question that you could throw at Hearts before a ball was kicked this year was promotion. They're sitting in first place. They're 12 points clear. I know Raith have a couple of games in hand but they still have to win those. It doesn't matter how you go up.
"They're unbeaten in six, drawing their last three. In these games they are dominant. What they're guilty of is not converting their chances. If they'd get that first goal they'd go on to win comfortably.
"It's something Robbie Neilson has said to the players. They need to be more ruthless streak about them. It can't be about enjoying the game of football and hope it happens. You have to be that player to make things happen. Twist the sword.
"Hearts are going through a funny spell but they're going to get promoted. There's seven, eight players out of contract in the summer but that'll free up space for Robbie to go and get some quality.
"It's still a nice brand of football, it's still creative football. They are creating a lot of chances they're just not taking them.
"They're conceding the first goal but they're showing a lot of quality to come back and not lose games. Do not lose games, keep putting points on the board. That's what you need to do in football and that's what Hearts are doing.
"Let's not think about, 'what will this team be in the Premiership?' because they're not in the Premiership at this moment."