HEARTS HEAD coach Robbie Neilson says Rangers will remain a huge Championship title threat – even if they move 16 points clear of the Ibrox club on Friday.
Hearts head to Glasgow for the televised encounter with a cushion at the summit having won 17 out of 20 league matches, including home and away victories over Rangers. But even if Hearts reinforce their title credentials with another win in Govan, Neilson insists he will still not write off Rangers’ challenge.
Neilson, who hopes to have strikers Osman Sow and Dale Carrick available for the clash following their respective thigh and hamstring injuries, said: “What will be, will be on the Friday night but there is still along way to go for us. There are lot of points to be picked up and dropped so Rangers are still a huge threat to us.
“I expect them to continue to win games and they have won a lot this season. Although they’ve lost a few, they’ve still won a fair amount and they’ll do that again during the second half of the season so we have to make sure we continue to win our games.”
A draw would suit Hearts more than Rangers on Friday in a game for which the Edinburgh side were given extra tickets, as Rangers struggle to attract anything like the crowds they were once used to. But Neilson says he will not send the team out to play for a point. He added: “We want to go into every game to try and win it, ultimately we don’t want to lose games – we want to win them all.”
Meanwhile, Hearts director of football Craig Levein admits there are unlikely to be anymore signings during the January transfer window after the club signed Groningen striker Genero Zeefuik on a six-month loan deal last week. Zeefuik marked his debut with a brace in Saturday’s 5-1 victory at Dumbarton.
The club’s youngsters are drawing plenty of attention but Levein admits they are not actively looking to add another fresh face. Responding on Twitter when asked if there would be anymore new signings, Levein said: “Unlikely, unless we have anyone leaving.”