Hearts have yet to find top gear this season, says Aidy White

Brief flirtations with full throttle have hinted at Hearts’ capabilities this season, but defender Aidy White believes there is much more to come.
Hearts defender Aidy White at Riccarton.Hearts defender Aidy White at Riccarton.
Hearts defender Aidy White at Riccarton.

A league-opening 6-2 win against Dundee and a euphoric Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Hibs are two highlights of a campaign which is still gaining momentum.

Last week’s Betfred Cup loss at Alloa was an unexpected setback, meaning Robbie Neilson and his players have some making up to do against Morton in Greenock this afternoon.

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“I still think we've got more to come as a team. We have some real quality, it's just finding that on a consistent basis,” said White. “Last week, the end product and final ball could've been a lot better. When we get those chances, we've got to put teams to bed.

“If you don't take your chances and you lack that end product, then no matter who you play they are going to get opportunities. Alloa did that at the weekend, got a penalty and scored.

“It was all parts – passes from midfielders, crosses from wide men, we all have to be accountable. The strikers weren't necessarily the ones getting the chances so we all have to be accountable as a team. It's definitely not them.”

Crossing, finishing and passing between the lines have all featured heavily on Hearts’ training schedule this past week.

“We've worked on way to break teams down to get that end product. You do crossing and finishing, work on little through balls, moving the ball quickly from side to side, and when the opportunity comes then you play through the lines,” added White.

It’s all well in theory but when you find yourself in the penalty area eyeballing a goalkeeper of Craig Gordon’s calibre, scoring a goal becomes daunting.

“It's difficult, that's the problem,” laughed White. “When you're finishing against Craig, it's always a bit of a buzz when you score because he saves that many. Maybe we need someone else in the net to give us a confidence boost.”

With the Scottish Cup final against Celtic just two weeks away, White and other Hearts players are eager to establish themselves in Neilson’s team.

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“That's what I want, whether that's left-back or left wing. I want to carry on building that momentum and try to make an impact. The more games I get under my belt, the easier it becomes. I want to keep chipping away and hopefully produce some goods.

“You always have to think about the game at the weekend first. The boys will want to be playing in that cup final. It will be the biggest game in some of their lives. Everybody will want to be involved and showcasing what they can do.

“I'd just signed a few weeks before the 2019 final. I wasn't fully fit so I wasn't involved but I went to the game and watched.

“We played really well, especially in the first half. They caught us on the break for one of the goals and the other was a penalty. It was really disappointing.

“Celtic obviously showed their quality when they had opportunities. We are going to relish this one.”

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