Gary Mackay: No ego and hard work make Robbie Neilson fit at Hearts

Robbie Neilson left Dundee United for Hearts on Sunday.Robbie Neilson left Dundee United for Hearts on Sunday.
Robbie Neilson left Dundee United for Hearts on Sunday.
Manager’s return will lift many fans and players must respond

Like many Hearts supporters, I’ve been far more encouraged by the developments at the club over the last couple of weeks. June has proven to be interesting month with players and coaches leaving, court action started, and now a new manager.

The last one came completely out of the blue as no-one expected Robbie Neilson to return to Hearts after getting Dundee United promoted. Everyone assumed he would want a crack at the Premiership at Tannadice, so luring him away from was a bit of an achievement in itself.

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It's not only the fact Robbie is back now, it's the fact we have done it in a really professional manner. Without being critical, you are now thinking: 'Maybe this is the move we should have made six months ago.'

That's no disrespect to Daniel Stendel, who worked incredibly hard during his short spell in charge. Because of Robbie's knowledge of Scottish football and what he has done with Dundee United in the Championship made him an outstanding candidate. I'm really pleased he is back at Tynecastle now. It's an appointment which has really enthused me.

Nobody knows what is in front of you in football and you can certainly never guarantee results no matter who you put in charge. What I do know of Robbie from a young age is that you couldn't ask for anybody more determined or single-minded.

Even though he is not from the east of Scotland, he is somebody who fully understands Heart of Midlothian from his time there as a player and a manager. That is epitomised by what Stuart Wallace, the Foundation of Hearts chairman, said about what Robbie told the players regarding FoH.

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Robbie just gets Hearts, it's as simple as that. There is no ego. It's just about how he can make the football team and the club better. That is a massive thing.

He worked so hard on his own career as a player and that always sticks in my mind. I draw parallels between Robbie and Grant Murray, who is now a coach at Hibs. Both guys made the very best of the talent they had and I like that in people.

Robbie and Grant both know what it took for them to have long careers in professional football and that's why I believe Robbie will improve the situation at Hearts. He has learned so much in his time, he never shied away from work on the training ground or on the pitch.

He doesn't shy away from work as a manager and he will expect that from his players as well. That's all you can ask. I think it's great that you have somebody there who players will look at and who has done so much with Hearts.

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If they have any sense, they will respond because they know it will make them better and help make the team better.

When you look at which managers were about for free, and who would require compensation, which ones knew Hearts and had the experience of being successful without an ego, I don't think we could get a better person.

I'm sure that, from the first whistle in the first game, the Hearts support will get right behind Robbie. I know I certainly will.

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