Hearts outline Liam Boyce's chances of facing Aberdeen after striker misses St Johnstone draw

Hearts remain hopeful that top goalscorer Liam Boyce will return from injury in time for Saturday’s trip to Aberdeen.
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson at McDiarmid Park.Hearts manager Robbie Neilson at McDiarmid Park.
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson at McDiarmid Park.

The Northern Irishman is due to train at Riccarton on Thursday after missing Wedensday’s 1-1 draw at St Johnstone with a calf problem. If he comes through unscathed on Thursday and Friday, he will be in contention for Pittodrie.

"Liam Boyce will train on Thursday and and should be okay for the weekend,” explained Robbie Neilson, the Hearts manager. “Armand Gnanduillet did very well. He's a different type and the plan this season has always been to bring him in and out.

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“I was pleased with his work. He was good and the only disappointment will be that he didn't score.”

Neilson felt Hearts’ dominance in the 1-1 draw at St Johnstone merited more than just a point. Josh Ginnelly’s first-half goal levelled the scoreline following Liam Gordon’s opener, but Hearts exerted constant pressure on the hosts during a one-sided second half at McDiarmid Park.

Neilson pointed to statistics as evidence that his team deserved victory and said St Johnstone would be the only ones content to take a draw.

“It was similar to the Dundee game on Saturday. We played well, created chances and just that final moment wasn't there,” said the manager, who sat in the stand in Perth due to a touchline suspension.

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“But the key thing is we have dominated against the double cup winners, a team that is very good at home. We had 70 per cent possession and 20 shots on goal. The disappointment is we never took the three points we merited.”

Hearts remain unbeaten after the first round of Premiership fixtures. “It's nice to be unbeaten but we could have more points. We should have beaten Dundee, we should have won at St Johnstone and Ross County. That's six points dropped so there are definitely areas to improve but we are playing good football.

“We are dominating games but we just need to work on that final moment. On the balance of play, I think if anyone is happy with a draw it's them [St Johnstone].

“I quite enjoyed being in the stand. You get a different view but I am looking forward to getting back to the dugout after Aberdeen on Saturday.”

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