Robbie Neilson reacts to Hearts' two heavy pre-season victories
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson explained that his team are starting to play the way he wants after three convincing pre-season victories.
After Saturday's 6-0 win at Linlithgow Rose in which members of Hearts’ playing and coaching staff were absent due to Covid-related issues, the Edinburgh club played back-to-back friendlies against Civil Service Strollers and Spartans on Tuesday night. A 4-0 win at Christie Gillies Park followed by a 7-0 triumph at Ainslie Park left Neilson encouraged ahead of the new season.
New signing Alex Cochrane struck in the Spartans match, as did striker Liam Boyce, with other attackers like Jamie Walker and Armand Gnanduillet on the scoresheet against Civil Service. Josh Ginnelly who joined the club on a permanent deal this summer from Preston North End after spending last season on loan at Tynecastle, also shone against Strollers.
Hearts return to the Premiership at the end of next month after winning the Championship convincingly last season. The Jambos start their competitive season in the Premier Sports Cup a week on Saturday against Peterhead and will follow that with matches against Cove Rangers, Stirling Albion and Inverness Caledonian Thistle in that competition.
“I'm pleased with it so far. Just now it's about getting the boys fit and getting them playing how we want them to play. They are playing really good attacking football and scoring plenty goals, which is great,” said Neilson.
“Getting all the strikers on the scoresheet early is important for us and we've managed to do that. There were some good performances tonight and I'm pleased with how things are going.”
Hearts now face two closed-door games over the weekend. On Friday, they take on Championship outfit Ayr United, while 24 hours later they play Falkirk. While venues for those two games have yet to be confirmed, Hearts have communicated that they will take place outside of Edinburgh and will not be open to the public. These matches will continue their preparations ahead of the long journey north to Balmoor on Saturday, July 10 when the competitive action kicks off against Peterhead.