Hearts hold talks with midfield in an effort to get more goals from the engine room

The Hearts management team have held talks to encourage midfielders into goalscoring positions in an effort to find the net more often.

By Barry Anderson
Thursday, 26th November 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 26th November 2020, 1:57 pm

An instant response arrived on Tuesday night when Andy Halliday and Peter Haring both scored in the 3-0 win against Alloa Athletic alongside full-back Michael Smith

Manager Robbie Neilson wants midfielders making more penetrating runs in behind opponents having been disappointed with that aspect of his team’s play recently.

Along with coaches Lee McCulloch and Gordon Forrest, he held discussions with players following Friday night’s defeat at Dunfermline.

Sign up to our Hearts newsletter

Robbie Neilson saw Hearts midfielder Andy Halliday score against Alloa.

"I was delighted for Andy and Peter getting their goals,” Neilson told the Evening News. “We had spoken about not getting close enough to the striker. We did a bit of work on making movements in behind the opposition.

“You can keep possession all day and go side to side, but at the end of the day it’s about putting the ball in the goal.

“The midfielders have to be near the striker. They have to make runs in behind. Andy did that for his goal against Alloa.

“If that ball had gone into Boycie last Friday at Dunfermline, Andy would have been 30 yards behind him. On Tuesday, he was ten yards in front of him getting into the box to receive the pass. It was great to see.

“We spoke with all the midfielders, and with the whole team to be honest, about the importance of making runs in behind and being close to the striker.

“After Friday night, I felt we kept playing in the wrong areas and we were slow. Wide players were staying wide and not getting into pockets of space. It was something we had to try and improve on.”

Haring scored his first goal since April 2019 after returning from 16 months out injured. “Peter is a very experienced player who reads the game well and has good physicality,” said Neilson.

“He is someone I think we need in that position, but we need to be careful with him because of how long he was out.

“I thought he was brilliant on Tuesday and to get 90 minutes was great for him. He picked up a wee knock at the end but he should be fine for the weekend.”

Read More

Read More
Christophe Berra hits back at critics who say he is too old and can’t run

A message from the editor: Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our sports coverage with a digital sports subscription.