Robbie Neilson says Hibs cup derby is pivotal to Hearts' season as Jim Goodwin bemoans "humiliating" Tynecastle result

Robbie Neilson believes Sunday’s Scottish Cup Edinburgh derby is pivotal to Hearts’ season after the 5-0 league win over Aberdeen – a result the Pittodrie manager Jim Goodwin labelled “humiliating”.

Hearts travel across the Capital to face their biggest rivals with a place in the fifth round at stake, and Neilson stressed all eyes are now on that tie. Josh Ginnelly’s double, Michael Smith’s strike, Lawrence Shankland’s penalty and Cammy Devlin’s first goal at Tynecastle saw the dominant hosts dispense with Aberdeen and extend their unbeaten run to eight matches.

“We are delighted with the result, we started well and got the goals at good times. It’s three points, that’s all that matters and it’s all about the derby now,” said Neilson. “The player got a quick pat on the back and it’s on to Sunday now. Was that the best performance? I thought we played exceptionally well in the Zurich game, when we were on the front foot, aggressive and won the ball high up the pitch. I thought that was similar tonight and when you do that you get the crowd behind you.

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“It doesn’t really mean anything, it’s just three points. Aberdeen beat us up there and we have beat them here, so it’s even-Steven now. At Hearts you are expected to win every game. All eyes are on the derby now, it’s pivotal to the season because we want to get a result and kick on.”

Goodwin delivered an honest assessment of his team at full-time and refused to use Sunday’s extra-time loss against Rangers in the Viaplay Cup as an excuse. “It’s an extremely humiliating result for us all, for everyone connected with the club. To concede five goals in any game is unacceptable. That result there tonight pretty much sums up our away record.

“I didn’t think there was a great deal between the two teams up until the first goal. I thought it was a very even game even at 1-0. I didn’t think there was a great deal happening in it. Neither team had too many shots on goal. How we defend the first one is pathetic, really. We know all about James Hill’s long throw, he is renowned for that. He puts a long ball into the box, we don’t win the first one, the Hearts player reacts quickest to the second one and we find ourselves going a goal behind.

“We had a decent reaction to that I thought – but again the second goal is all too easy. I didn’t see this coming tonight, I really didn’t. We felt we were in a good place mentally. We can talk about whether we were physically after the game on Sunday, but I don’t really want to go there because I will sound like I am making excuses. That is not the reason we lost the game in the manner we did tonight.

“Some of our defending for some of the goals was very hard to explain. Hearts have had six shots on target tonight and have scored five goals. Joe Lewis has made one save in the whole match. I can’t point the finger at Joe Lewis. I don’t think there’s anything he could have done with any of the five goals.”

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson saw his team beat Aberdeen 5-0.