Robbie Neilson lauds his Hearts team for setting down early title marker against Dundee

Robbie Neilson praised his Hearts side after crushing Dundee 6-2.Robbie Neilson praised his Hearts side after crushing Dundee 6-2.
Robbie Neilson praised his Hearts side after crushing Dundee 6-2.
Robbie Neilson was delighted to set down an opening-day marker in the Scottish Championship title race after he watched his Hearts team dismantle Dundee 6-2 at Tynecastle.

A double from Stephen Kingsley, plus strikes from Josh Ginnelly, Andy Halliday and a Liam Boyce penalty, gave the Jambos a perfect start to the campaign against one of the nearest rivals.

Dundee replied with goals from Charlie Adam and Danny Mullen, but they were streets behind their hosts, who played with pace, power and passion to get their just rewards.

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"I thought it was important to lay down a marker,” said Hearts manager Neilson. “There are only 26 games left now, so it’s important to start the season well and score goals and get a bit of confidence in the team, We managed to do that.

"I was really pleased with the start. We spoke about being on the front foot and pressing. We’re a number of games into the season as we’ve played 12 or 13 games and we knew Dundee hadn’t played many, so we thought we could catch them cold. Their last game was against Brora and, with the greatest respect to them, it’s not the same level as us, so we knew we could get a bit of intensity and thankfully we got a couple of early goals.”

"I thought Charlie’s goal was top level, and we spoke about him during the week about keeping him off his left foot, but he shifts right through and you can see why he’s played at that top level. [Kingsley] had some great finishes but it was just a pity there was nobody here to see it.”

Neilson now wants his team to take that form into their next match, away at Arbroath next Friday night at Gayfield, with a new set of challenges being posed against his team.

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"The boys will back in training on Monday and we now need to go and win at Arbroath now,” added Neilson, who hopes to have Steven Naismith even closer to the starting XI for that match. “There’s no point getting a good result here and then not taking it up there.”