Hearts boss: The big test is yet to come

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson out-plotted Rangers. Now he is planning for an Old Firm double
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson out-plotted Rangers. Now he is planning for an Old Firm double
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With his team top of the league and boasting a 100 per cent record, the Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson warned today that the biggest test will come after their first poor result.

Four wins from four games see Hearts leading the Championship table, but Neilson refuses to get carried away with early-season success.

His team are scoring goals freely and have already beaten Rangers and Hibs – two of the sides expected to challenge for promotion this season. Domestic football returns this weekend as Hearts head to Dumbarton and Neilson warned that the reaction to a slip-up will be as big a challenge as any.

“I’m pleased with it how it’s gone so far,” he said. “We’re playing some good football, but there are a lot of things to work on. The boys are getting better all the time, so we just need to keep doing it. The hard bit will be when we do have a bad result. Then you need to see how we react to it and how we get back to winning ways again. We just need to keep working away at the moment, keep doing the right things and look to get the results every week.”

Neilson stressed that Hearts would show part-time Dumbarton every respect and he will tap into the knowledge of Hearts’ Under-20 coach Jack Ross, who spent three years as assistant manager at the Rock.

“I know a lot about them. We have Jack Ross here so he knows plenty about Dumbarton. I knew them from my time at Falkirk when we played against them in this league. I also know Ian Murray, their manager, very well and I’m familiar with a lot of their players.

“We’ll prepare thoroughly for it. We know what to expect. It’s a difficult venue to go to. The stand there only holds about 2000 people so there isn’t going to be a massive atmosphere. It’s important we get ourselves right for the game and make sure we get another win on the board.”