Robbie Neilson urges Hearts to stay focused

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson is all smiles at training. Picture: SNS
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson is all smiles at training. Picture: SNS
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HEARTS head coach Robbie Neilson has urged his players to retain their focus as they head into the second half of the Scottish Championship season with a 15-point lead.

Hearts extended their advantage at the top with a 1-0 win over Livingston in front of more than 7,000 travelling fans in West Lothian.

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James Keatings turned home the only goal from close range after missing a penalty earlier on as Hearts took advantage of Rangers’ 4-0 defeat against Hibernian at Easter Road to move further clear.

Hearts have only dropped four points in the first half of the campaign but face a big test against a buoyed Hibs side on January 3 and Neilson wants his players to maintain their standards.

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He said: “The Hibs game was irrelevant to us. Other than giving the players the chance to extend their lead, it wasn’t a factor in my mind.

“We were focusing on Livingston and it just so happened a chance for us to extend our lead to 15 points appeared.

“It’s great for the players to get that boost, but that kind of lead can easily be eaten away with slack play and mistakes, so it’s imperative that we keep our focus.

“There’s still 18 games to go, but we know if we win the rest of our games we’ll win the league.”

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