Robbie Neilson points out lessons Hearts must learn after defeat at Motherwell
After watching Hearts fall to a 2-0 defeat at Motherwell, manager Robbie Neilson admitted it was one of the worst games he had seen for some time.
He stressed that lessons must be learned from a match which Motherwell controlled with an aggressive an energetic approach. Connor Shields and Rickie Lamie scored the goals as Hearts struggled to make an impact at Fir Park.
“We came here, it is a big game for Motherwell, you could see at the end the way they were celebrating,” said Neilson. “We have to handle it. We know it is going to be direct, second balls, free-kicks, you give them the lead they are going to kill the game so you live and learn.
“I am disappointed. I didn't think we played well today. It was probably one of the worst games I have seen for a while. The game didn't flow, it was free-kick, throw-in, corner, free-kick, throw-in, corner and we couldn't get any flow in the game.
“When you come to these games you need... I'll not say too much or I will end up getting banned but it was a game we won’t be looking back on too much.”
Suggestions of a penalty claim before half-time when Lamie challenged Hearts forward Josh Ginnelly in the penalty area did not concern Neilson too much.
“I don't know, you had no idea what was going to happen at any point in the game out there the way it was,” he said. “It could have went for us, it could have went for them, it could be play on, it was one of those days. It wasn't pretty.
“I spoke to the referee [Willie Collum] at the end. I have already been banned this season so there is no point saying anything. The game is done now.”
Asked if Hearts conceded cheap goals, Neilson replied: “The first is a blocked shot and it falls to him [Sheilds]. To be honest, in the first half we probably had the better of the chances.
“Gino [Ginnelly] is one v one, Ben Woodburn goes through, we had a couple of other ones who went through and we never took them today. In the second half, if it became three passes a goal, it would still be 0-0.”
The Motherwell manager Graham Alexander revealed that Shields asked to leave the club on loan a few weeks ago and was told to stay put.
“It’s a big goal for Connor. I had a conversation with him a few weeks ago. He was maybe looking to go out on loan and I told him he’s going nowhere,” said the former Scotland internationalist. “He will score goals for us in the Premiership, without a shadow of a doubt.
“I don’t think anyone can complain with the result and I thought it was a brilliant performance. I’ve played with Craig Gordon, he’s an unbelievable goalkeeper. It was great to see him work so hard today and great to see us beat him twice as well.”