Liam Boyce injury update after Hearts' top scorer limps off against Dundee
Hearts offered an update on top goalscorer Liam Boyce after he limped off injured in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Dundee.
Boyce was substituted on the hour mark and hobbled down the tunnel, with Frenchman Armand Gnanduillet taking his place. With ten goals in 15 appearances this season, the Northern Irishman is an integral part of manager Robbie Neilson’s team.
Hearts hope the forward’s calf injury is minor but he will be assessed on Sunday ahead of Wednesday’s trip to St Johnstone. “We will see how he is tomorrow,” explained Neilson. “He had a tightness in his calf and he is such a key player that we took him straight off to try to make sure he is all right. We will see how he is for Wednesday.”
After seeing John Souttar's opening goal cancelled out by a late Jason Cummings header for Dundee, Neilson remained philosophical. His team are top of the Premiership on goal difference but should have done enough to take three points against the Tayside club.
“If you look at the bigger picture, we are sitting top of the league after ten games,” he said. “Yes, we are disappointed not to have taken maximum points after the way we played and the amount of chances we created, but I can’t fault the players for their effort and the way they tried to win.
“When you are 1-0 up and you don’t get the next goal, you are always susceptible to losing one. You are always going to have games where you don’t have that final moment, but the key phrase is that we are getting the moments. We are getting into really good areas, having shots. Some days, it just doesn’t go in.”
Cummings scored a headed flick from a long throw which Hearts didn’t defend. “Obviously, every goal, you are disappointed. We limited them to very, very few chances. They got a throw-in, we didn’t make first contact on it and, when you do that, you leave yourself open to losing a goal,” added Neilson. “The key thing is that we didn’t get the second goal.”
He insisted that being top of the table is not a burden on his players as they prepare to travel to McDiarmid Park and Pittodrie. Hearts were only promoted from the Championship in the summer and have started the league impressively, although expectation levels remain high.
“I don’t think it’s a burden, to be honest,” explained Neilson at full-time. “No matter who we play here, we are expected to win. When we don’t win, there is a disappointment from the dressing room whether it is Rangers, Celtic, Dundee or Ross County.
“We expect to go and win the game. We didn’t win it today , but we had the chances to win it and the performance to merit it, but we have to accept the point and move on. We are undefeated after 10 games on our return to the top flight and the mood inthe camp is very good.”