Robbie Neilson reveals his hardest decision at Hearts as he explains talks with Jamie Walker and Aaron McEneff

Robbie Neilson has held talks with Hearts midfielders Jamie Walker and Aaron McEneff after leaving them out of recent matchday squads.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 21st October 2021, 2:48 pm
Jamie Walker is struggling for game time at Hearts.

The manager admitted his most difficult weekly decision right now is who to leave in the stand with almost a full squad to choose from. Walker and McEneff have been on the periphery so far this season and did not make the substitutes’ bench against Rangers last weekend.

Both are frustrated by the lack of game time and Hearts coaching staff are trying to manage the disappointment. “I speak to them regularly about it,” Neilson told the Evening News.

“I spoke to them on Saturday when we let them know who would be involved, who wouldn’t be involved and who the subs were. The two of them have been training really well. Probably the hardest decision I have every week is who doesn’t make the bench.

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“The guys who start are delighted. The guys on the bench are disappointed but they’re still involved. They still have the feeling that they might get on. It’s the ones who don’t make the bench.

“Touch wood this continues but we are sitting right now with no injuries, which is very rare in any team. We’ve played 14 games in the league and cup and we are sitting with a full squad available.

“Aaron and Jamie didn’t make the bench on Saturday but the two of them would be in any top-six team in Scotland – probably playing every week. We have to keep that squad because we will get injuries, plus loss of form, so people will need to come in and people will need to come out.

“For the guys who aren't playing and not making the squad, it’s about continuing to work hard. When they get an opportunity to come in, they need to be at it to stay in. Both Aaron and Jamie are match-winners. They have moments in them that can win you a game.

“They have been training really well and it’s important they continue doing that because they know they will get a chance. When it comes, they need to take it and stay in.”

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