Hearts boss Robbie Neilson: We will use SPFL's relegation decision as motivation

The Tynecastle club will have plenty of motivation no matter what league they are in

Teams coming up against Hearts next season have been warned they will be facing a wounded animal.

New manager Robbie Neilson has ensured fans the team will use the nature of the club’s relegation to the Championship as a motivation.

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Hearts continue to fight against their demotion enforced upon them by the SPFL following the resolution to terminate the 2019/20 season.

Robbie Neilson will use the nature of the club's relegation as a motivational factor. Picture: SNS

The court of session hearing last week saw Lord Alistair Clark QC refer Hearts and Partick Thistle’s legal challenge against the SPFL to the Scottish FA arbitration panel.

It follows a period of disgruntlement and controversy with league reconstruction being rejected.

There remains a hope that Hearts will be reinstated into the top-flight but as things stand will get their season underway in the Championship in October.

Neilson will be tasked with steering Hearts back to the Premiership for the second time, after a record breaking 2014/15 campaign, the last time the club found themselves in the second tier.

"We'll use (the demotion) as a motivation," he said. "Definitely - I think everyone would. I think it's important that we stick together as a group and we'll do that as we did previously. It's been a difficult few years for everyone but now it's a fresh start and we can move forward.

"It's about winning matches and I believe we have a squad here who can do that.

"There's a disappointment about the way things have turned out. Is it an anger? That's a bit of a strong word to say but there's definitely a motivation to put it right.

"A few managers have spoken about if their club was put in the same situation, they'd expect them to do exactly what we're doing, so I think it's important we went down the route we did.

"We're still going to keep pushing hard to get the result we want."

Not only does Neilson, who has revealed he is keen on speaking to Sam Nicholson about a return, have the experience of leading Hearts out of the Championship five years ago, but he guided Dundee United to the Championship title last season after the Tannadice club struggled to get back to the Premiership.

"It was a very difficult four years for United,” he said. “When teams come down it's very important they get back up as quickly as possible and hopefully within the first season.

"I understand it will be like that too here at Hearts.

"We managed to do it the last time I was in charge and I managed to get Dundee United out of the league as well so I have that experience."

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