Hearts coach targets four wins before New Year derby

Robbie Neilson at Riccarton
Robbie Neilson at Riccarton
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Robbie Neilson has a target of taking 12 points from Hearts’ next four matches to ensure they enter the New Year Edinburgh derby on a high.

The head coach wants to maintain momentum through the winter by firstly beating Queen of the South this weekend, then Cowdenbeath, Alloa, and Livingston before Hibs visit Tynecastle on January 3.

Neilson believes Queen of the South are one of the Championship’s top four teams and is conscious of the threat they pose to Hearts’ unbeaten league record on Saturday. However, the last meeting between the clubs at Palmerston Park in October resulted in a 3-0 Hearts victory.

A repeat this time would suit Neilson as he attempts to guide his team through the crucial festive period. “It’s another big month for us,” he told the Evening News today. “November was a huge month with three big games against Raith, Falkirk and Rangers. I knew if we managed to get through those three with full points then we’d have done really well, and we did that.

“We want something similar in December. Queens, for me, are one of the top teams. I believe ourselves, Rangers, Hibs and Queens are the four top teams in the league, so Saturday will be a really difficult one. Obviously, Cowdenbeath is a difficult place to go, and then we’ve got Alloa and Livi.

“If we can go through this month and pick up 12 points, it will be magnificent for us.

“The target is to win every game. We want to win on Saturday firstly, then we want to go to Cowdenbeath and win, and so on.”