Robbie Neilson provides Andy Halliday injury update after Partick Thistle friendly
Two new signings played in Friday’s win at Firhill
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson revealed new signing Andy Halliday was only taken off as a precaution during Friday’s friendly win at Partick Thistle.
A tight thigh forced the midfielder off moments before the interval, at which point he was due to be substituted having not played since February.
Neilson explained that the issue is nothing serious and declared himself pleased with Halliday and another new recruit, the Romanian centre-back Mihai Popescu, who played 45 minutes.
“Andy is fine, he just had a tight thigh. That’s his first game since March and he’s only trained for a few days. We were going to take him off at half-time anyway. I think he will be okay, we will just let it settle down,” said Neilson in his post-match interview.
“We will need to use the Betfred Cup and some league games as well to ease him in because it’s a long time he’s been out.
“I was pleased with Mihai as well. He is also not up to full fitness yet, that’s the first time he has joined the squad so it was good to get him out there. I think he will add a lot.”
Hearts won 2-0 in Glasgow thanks to impressive second-half strikes from Jamie Walker and Andy Irving. Their competitive campaign starts against Inverness on Tuesday in the Betfred Cup.
“It’s important we have boys who have a moment in them. We had chances in the first half but in the second half, you put these guys in those positions and it’s them who change the game for you and win it,” said Neilson.
“I still think it will take a few competitive games to get going. Friendlies are good but there are a lot of changes during the games, we made ten at half-time, and it kind of dies of death.
“I was pleased with the work-rate, getting another result and a clean sheet. It’s been a decent pre-season but it means nothing. We got into the game on Tuesday and that’s when it really starts.
“I feel we’re in a good place but I’ve been in loads of pre-seasons where you win all the games, then you lose your first few competitive games. And vice-versa. It means nothing. It’s about Tuesday night now.”
Craig Gordon displayed his qualities with a first-half penalty save from Thistle’s Salim Kouider-Aïssa. “He is a top keeper, that’s one of the reasons we brought him in. We know there will be moments at that end when he will pull us out of a hole,” said Neilson.
The manager also applauded 18-year-old full-back Cammy Logan. He signed a new three-year contract with Hearts hours before starting the game at Firhill.
“He has been called up to the Scotland Under-19s and I like him. He has good athleticism, composure and he’s a good size as well. I think he has a good future with us.
“Him and Michael Smith can both play full-back on either side.”