Hearts players 'got their reward' as Robbie Neilson's Dundee homework pays off

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson took great pride in watching his team’s pre-season preparations come to fruition after the 6-2 triumph over Dundee.

By Mark Atkinson
Saturday, 17th October 2020, 7:00 am
Robbie Neilson congratulates two-goal hero Stephen Kingsley after Hearts defeated Dundee.
Robbie Neilson congratulates two-goal hero Stephen Kingsley after Hearts defeated Dundee.

The Jambos destroyed one of their closest rivals for the Championship crown on opening night, with Stephen Kingsley bagging a brace and Michael Smith, Josh Ginnelly, Liam Boyce and Andy Halliday getting on the scoresheet.

Neilson brought his players back to work two months before the competitive campaign was due to begin and he believes his players got their reward with Friday night’s victory at Tyecastle, while he revealed that he made sure his starting XI could counter Dundee’s own shape.

“I was so pleased for the players,” Neilson told the Evening News. “I thought they were brilliant. We spoke about starting the game as well as we could and putting the hard work we’d put in pre-season to good use. We managed to do that.

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"We had good control at half-time, but in the second half, they changed it and we found it difficult to get much control, but eventually we settled down and it was quite comfortable.”

"Dundee played the same shape right through pre-season, so we knew how we had to play against it, to make sure we’d get control. So I had to pick the players that could do it for us. Having Andy Irving in there, with Jamie Walker and Olly Lee, it allowed us to press, and Boycie [Liam Boyce] came in up top and leads the line really well. He’s physical.”

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