Hearts’ sole aim when domestic football resumes is to haul themselves above Rangers and Aberdeen into second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Head coach Robbie Neilson wants to leapfrog his club’s nearest rivals and cement a place in behind leaders Celtic, who are already ten points clear at the top. The current international break ends this weekend, although Hearts don’t play until Monday evening at Hamilton. They are currently fourth in the league after 12 matches – one point behind Rangers in third and two behind second-placed Aberdeen.
“Our focus just now is getting above Rangers and getting above Aberdeen, then we can take it from there,” Neilson told the Evening News. “The season has been a bit stop-start with all the international breaks so we’re looking to get some momentum going. That starts at Hamilton, which is a huge game for us.”
Hearts will continue striving to match Celtic on the field despite the significant gap in financial resources. Neilson admitted the Glasgow club’s spending power is difficult to combat for others in Scotland.
“We want to try and stay as close as we can to them, but it’s difficult,” he said. “You look at the resources they have, going and spending £4 million on players, that makes it extremely difficult.
“We have to try and get as close as we can to put them under some sort of pressure.”