Robbie Neilson: Time for Hearts to move on from ‘5-1’ final

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Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson has vowed to move on from their derby cup final triumph and create some new history.

Hearts fans will forever live off their team’s 5-1 victory over Hibernian in the 2012 Scottish Cup final but the club have not scored in the competition since then.

Hearts have failed to score in the competition since their 2012 win over Hibs. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Hearts have failed to score in the competition since their 2012 win over Hibs. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Hibs also gained a measure of revenge the following season, while Hearts have lost 11 goals in two games against Celtic in the past two years, and Neilson wants to start a more positive run when Hearts host Aberdeen in the fourth round on Saturday evening.

Neilson said of their most recent triumph: “It was a huge game back then and I think people are still celebrating from that. It’s time to put that to bed and try and win it again.

“We have a good squad here and we feel we can do something this season.

“It’s important the players understand this is a huge competition for Hearts. It’s got a lot of history here and we want to continue that history and create some of our own.

It’s time to put that to bed and try and win it again.

Robbie Neilson

“It’s a huge game. It’s the tie of the round, so the players are excited and desperate to play in it.”

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Aberdeen won 3-1 at Tynecastle in September and Hearts’ only Ladbrokes Premiership defeat since then came at Pittodrie, when Jordan McGhee’s handball gifted the Dons a late winner.

But Neilson feels his team are not far off second-placed Aberdeen.

“I think we’re getting closer,” he said.

“Aberdeen have experience in their team, experience of playing Scottish football. A lot of their players have played two, three, four hundred games in the top flight in Scotland, which helps them.

“But I think we have quality in the team and the players are starting to adapt better to the Scottish game, the way it’s played, the way it’s refereed and the conditions you have to play in, what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable.

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“It’s going to take a bit more time but I see us getting closer and this is a great opportunity with home advantage to get a result.”

Neilson and his players learned from their first game against Aberdeen this season.

“It was a wake-up call for us, the pace and power of Aberdeen and the experience they showed to score three quick goals then sit in and defend,” he said.

“We realise we can’t be as open and exposed as we were.”

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