Hearts happy to ‘grind out’ good results

Danny Wilson was taken off as a precaution
Danny Wilson was taken off as a precaution
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Robbie Neilson today insisted no-one at Hearts cares about Saturday’s below-par performance at Alloa because confidence levels soared following the gritty 1-0 win.

Adam Eckersley’s deflected free-kick four minutes from time secured victory to put the Edinburgh club nine points clear at the top of the SPFL Championship.

Although Hearts’ display was uninspiring, head coach Neilson stressed that they take the same confidence from a scrappy 1-0 result as they did from winning comfortably in previous matches this season.

“You get confidence from playing really well and scoring three, four or five goals,” he told the Evening News. “You also get it by being strong and grinding it out. Coming to venues that are difficult and getting a 1-0 in the last few minutes builds confidence. At the end of the day, it’s three points. Nobody cares how we got them.

“Yes, we want to come and play good football and do nice things and attack. We want to pass the ball about and get into good areas but, at the end of the day, the game is about three points. Football is about winning matches and we won it a different way on Saturday.

“I was hoping the goal would come sooner and that the game would open up a bit more. Alloa is a difficult place to go.

“Look at the results Alloa have had there. They don’t lose a lot of home games, not matter who it’s against. To get a 1-0 on 86 minutes is fantastic.

“I always knew we had quality but could we get someone into a position to do something for us? The delivery into the box from Adam was fantastic, very difficult to defend against. Sometimes you just need that bit of quality. We had wee flashes of it here and there but it was difficult.

“We go to Alloa once more this season. That’s three points there so far and hopefully we can come and do the same next time.”

The win increases Hearts’ lead over second-placed Rangers, who were inactive over the international weekend. However, captain Danny Wilson had to leave the field early on Saturday due to a tweaked hamstring. That left the visitors with ten men for the last few minutes but Wilson’s injury is not serious.

“It was just a precaution to take him off early and I’m sure he’ll be fine,” said Neilson.