ROBBIE NEILSON admits Hearts are in a “good place” heading into the international break after tonight’s 3-1 win at Motherwell.
Victory catapulted the Tynecastle side back to second in the Ladbrokes Premiership ahead of the weekend matches.
Goals from Sam Nicholson, Callum Paterson and Arnaud Djoum earned Hearts three points at Fir Park for only the second time in eight years. James McFadden scored a stoppage-time free-kick to give Motherwell a consolation, but the night belonged to the visitors.
They now leapfrog Aberdeen into second spot and head into the international break on a high. Neilson admitted he was delighted at returning to winning ways following a draw with Ross County and defeat by St Johnstone.
“Fir Park is a tough place to come and Motherwell had the opportunity to go second if they won. That shows the level they’re at,” said Neilson. “We’ve managed to get three points and go into second place. That puts a little bit of pressure on everyone else. This is a good place to be at the moment.
“I thought we had good periods in the game. We started well, then Motherwell got into it. In the second half, we had long periods with a lot of possession. We got three goals and could’ve scored more.
“Over the last three games, scoring goals has been the problem. That’s probably the worst performance of the three and we’ve managed to get three goals and three points.
“We had chances before we scored the first goal. We didn’t take them, didn’t pull the trigger or hit the target. Then we needed that wee bit of luck. Once we got it, it kind of opened the floodgates. The two goals after that were fantastic.”
Hearts players will continue working on finishing during the international break, with Neilson and his coaches determined to ensure the team scores more often.
“We have the international break now and we’ve got a couple of guys away. The rest of the squad will continue to work on finishing so that, when we play Dundee in a fortnight, we can take more chances,” he added.
“Everyone needs to score goals. Callum Paterson was playing right centre-half when he scored his goal. Arnaud Djoum scores but there’s an onus on them all.
“The way we play, sometimes we only have one striker and everyone else is moving behind him.
“There’s a big onus on one striker to score a goal against four defenders and a goalkeeper. It’s up to everyone else to chip and they did that.”