Hearts boss has say on trio's performance levels at Dunfermline
Hearts boss Robbie Neilson hailed the impact of debutant Shay Logan and returning internationalists Michael Smith and Craig Gordon as the Jambos inched closer to Championship title at Dunfermline.
Neilson’s men drew 0-0 at East End Park and while the result and the performance were not up to the standards set at the beginning of the campaign, it was an improvement on the two previous defeats by Queen of the South and Brora Rangers and allows them – if results go their way next weekend – to be crowned champions.
That was largely down to a much-improved defensive display, with Aberdeen loanee Logan slotting in at right-back, Smith playing impeccably at centre-half after being away with Northern Ireland and Gordon, fresh from winning his 56th Scotland cap, making a key save late in the match to deny Euan Murray.
The trio’s impact was not lost on Neilson, who was fulsome in his praise for each player.
“Brilliant,” was his assessment of Logan’s display. “I thought he did really well for us. He brings a bit of composure and solidity to the defence which is important. Michael Smith’s done brilliant for us but moving him into the middle gave us that in there as well and I thought [Craig] Halkett did really well in the physical battle as well. Defensively we did well but it’s just that final moment, which in the last few weeks has been lacking.
“Whenever Craig Gordon was called on he did great for us. There were only a couple of moments but he produced another great save. It’s good to have him.”