Robbie Neilson outlines what Hearts must do better as Ayr win takes them nearer Championship title

Hearts are closing in on the Championship title but manager Robbie Neilson is still not totally satisfied.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson and Ayr United manager David Hopkin at Tynecastle.
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson and Ayr United manager David Hopkin at Tynecastle.

He wants a more clinical edge and more deliveries into the penalty area following the 2-0 win over Ayr United which took his team 15 points clear at the top.

Goals from Armand Gnanduillet and Jamie Walker settled the game, both arriving from cross balls in the final 20 minutes of the match.

Hearts could not open Ayr’s defence for long spells as David Hopkin took charge of United for the first time.

“It was a difficult first half. We struggled to break them down,” admitted Neilson. “They sat in with 11 players 30 yards from goal so it would always be tough. We didn’t take the chances we had.

“The second half was better because the game was a bit more open. It’s about winning every week so we will just focus on Saturday to Saturday and hopefully we get over the line sooner rather than later.

“We’ve seen these games before where you have loads of possession and they sit deep, nullify the game, kill the game, hit it long and hope for a mistake.

“If you get an early goal you can win convincingly but otherwise it can be a bit of a slog. Through the game we got into good crossing positions but the crosses weren’t good enough.

“It was into a good area, was a good height and we needed more of it.”

Substitute Walker is now pushing for a start. “He’s doing well and just needs to get his fitness levels up. He’ll play in a bounce game at Partick on Sunday,” added Neilson.

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