Robbie Neilson admits concern at Hearts' defending and says reactions at Dundee goals 'not good enough'

Dundee’s 2-1 win at Tynecastle left the Hearts manager Robbie Neilson upset at his team’s weak defending for both goals.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Danny Mullen equalised Ellis Simms’ opener with the help of a deflection off the Hearts defender Toby Sibbick early in the second half. Mullen then claimed the winner with an instinctive striker’s goal at the back post.

The win lifted Dundee off the bottom of the Premiership but Neilson bemoaned the second-half defending which cost Hearts the game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We had some great opportunities in the first half and played very well. We only went in 1-0 up,” he said. “Then, in the second half, we became a bit flat. We should at least finish the game at 1-0.

Hearts coaches Gordon Forrest and Lee McCulloch with manager Robbie Neilson.Hearts coaches Gordon Forrest and Lee McCulloch with manager Robbie Neilson.
Hearts coaches Gordon Forrest and Lee McCulloch with manager Robbie Neilson.

“We lost the first goal because we didn’t track a runner and they got a deflection. At the second goal we got done at the back post. These are two situations we should be dealing with. Teams shouldn’t come here and score two goals. That was probably the most frustrating thing.

“You don’t mind creating chances and not taking them but, at the other end, you have to be much more secure. It’s not good enough. That’s seven goals in two games we have lost, miles off it.”

After Sunday’s 5-0 loss against Rangers at Ibrox, Neilson admitted concern at the way his team is defending without the injured Michael Smith and Craig Halkett.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It does concern you, to be honest. We are missing a couple of key players. John Souttar was back but a couple of them in there have got to be better than that. Two basic moments and we didn’t do things properly.

“I still think we can be a bit more clinical in that final moment with our final decisions. The most frustrating thing for me isn’t the attacking side, it’s the defensive side. Those were two poor goals to lose.”

The Dundee manager James McPake outlined his joy at the result. “It’s a relief to get off the bottom but our aim is higher,” he said. “We enjoy tonight but it’s so important we are in this league next season.

“John Souttar is one of the best defenders in this league, hence him signing a pre-contract with Rangers, but Rudden and Mullen gave the Hearts back three a lot of problems.”

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this article. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our sports coverage with a digital sports subscription.