Hearts ‘will never play long balls’

Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson
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Robbie neilson stressed today that his Hearts team will never resort to long-ball tactics as he prepares to pair Osman Sow and Genero Zeefuik together in attack.

While contemplating an imposing forward line for tomorrow’s match with Falkirk at Tynecastle, Neilson insisted his players will continue with the passing style which has proven successful this season.

Sow, at 6ft 4in, is one of Scotland’s tallest players, while Zeefuik’s bulk ensures he also carries a physical presence. Both are also capable of playing football on the ground, which is what Hearts intend to do 

“I don’t think we’re a team that will ever play long balls,” said Neilson. “The only time we did it was at Cowdenbeath because of the situation there with the pitch. I always like to try and build the play.

“All the strikers we’ve got can do that. Zeefuik, although he’s a strong boy, is only 5ft 10in. He isn’t exactly going to win lots of headers. He’s just there to link the play, really. Osman isn’t outstanding in the air either so we still need to play football and get the ball into the right areas. We will always do that.”

Sow played for the first time in more than 12 weeks on Tuesday night as Hearts Under-20s beat their Hibs counterparts 3-2.

“Osman is desperate to play against Falkirk,” admitted Neilson. “He was desperate to be involved last week at Ibrox. I considered it but I just felt it was a bit too early for him. He played on Tuesday night and wanted to train on Wednesday morning as well, so he’s 100 per cent ready.”