Hearts manager Robbie Neilson predicts more scrutiny with 'he hasn't won on a Tuesday night in the rain' remark
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson won’t overemphasise his first victory at Easter Road because he now expects critics to use other statistics to scrutinise his reign further.
Sunday’s 3-0 Scottish Cup fourth-round victory for the Edinburgh club was Neilson’s first ever success in Leith as a player or coach. He quickly downplayed the significance of it because he anticipates other stats to be brought up sooner or later.
“It's doesn't mean anything because people will just find another stat to have a look at, won't they? It will be: 'He hasn't won down there on a Tuesday night in the rain,' or something like that,” he laughed. “Easter Road is a very difficult place to go. Any team finds it difficult there. For us, it was about getting into the next round, getting a half-decent performance and scoring some goals.
“It's one of the biggest wins we've had at Easter Road for a long time. To come off the back of a 5-0 win against Aberdeen, then to get ourselves going again a few days later for the biggest game of the season, credit to the players for doing it.”
Pointing to the data-led analysis which often surrounds modern football, Neilson explained that Hearts have already killed off some unwanted statistics this season. They ended a 12-year wait to win at St Johnstone last month and also brought Kilmarnock’s seven-game unbeaten run at Tynecastle to a halt.
“It doesn't bother me because, like I said, it will be something else next week,” said Neilson. “At St Johnstone we hadn't won for years, we hadn't beaten Killie at home for years, every week there's something. It's part and part of football now with all these stats on the internet.
“I say it all the time, when you're at Hearts it's about winning the next game. That's all. The boys got some time off after Sunday, then we go to Livingston. We lost there earlier in the season and it's always difficult. If we don't win that it's the end of the world again. Then we play Rangers, we need to win that. Then it's Dundee United, need to win that. It's just all about winning at Hearts.”