Goal-hungry Gary excites Hearts boss Robbie Neilson

Gary Oliver scores against East Fife
Gary Oliver scores against East Fife
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Robbie Neilson admits he is delighted with Gary Oliver’s pre-season prowess after the teenager scored another friendly goal for Hearts at East Fife on Saturday.

Oliver scored against Dinamo Bucharest during the short trip to England and followed that up with a header in the 3-0 win at Methil.

Neilson has plenty options in attack after signing James Keatings and Soufian El Hassnaoui, with the giant Osman Sow featuring as a trialist alongside Oliver against East Fife.

However, it is Oliver’s exploits that have caught the eye.

“I thought Gary did really well at the weekend and I’m really pleased with him,” the head coach told the Evening News.

“I think having that physical presence [of Sow] next to him helped him. It took the load off him because he wasn’t having to hold the ball up and hold off defenders. He could go and do the things he’s good at, which is finding little gaps and making runs in behind.

“He’s clever and he makes little movements that help him find space. When you’ve got a big presence playing up front beside you, the opposing centre-backs focus on the big player. That gave Gary the chance to get away.

“As I’ve said to all the boys, if they’re doing well then they’ll play. Gary has done well so he has to continue that through the course of pre-season. Dale Carrick has done well, as has James Keatings, and we’ve got Soufian [El Hassnaoui] to come back from injury too.”

Meanwhile, as revealed in Friday’s Evening News, John Robertson has returned to Hearts as under-17 coach alongside new under-20 coach Jack Ross. Roger Arnott has been appointed academy manager at Riccarton.