How Hearts plan to spoil Ange Postecoglou's big Celtic night as contract update given on two players
This trip along the M8 coincides with Ange Postecoglou’s 100th match in charge with Celtic. His Hearts counterpart Robbie Neilson is not in the mood for sentiment, though, and has challenged his team to be brave when in possession at Parkhead. Five points clear of a resurgent Hibs in third place, the Tynecastle Park boss knows how important three points would be.
"Ange has done a fantastic job, there's no doubt about that,” said Neilson. “He's given the team a way of playing and a style of play which is entertaining. He has done exceptionally well, but hopefully we can go there and spoil that celebration.
“Obviously, they are a very, very good team so defensively you need to be solid. But you also have to have the belief that when you have the ball you can go and hurt them. When you watch teams that get some success there then they control periods of the game, they pick the right pass at the right time and the right movement. We have to do that. The atmosphere is always electric there and it’s a difficult place to go but it’s one that gives us a chance to challenge ourselves as coaches and also as players.”
Celtic have only lost once domestically this season, away to St Mirren in September, but Hearts gave them a good challenge at Tynecastle last year, losing narrowly 4-3. “The October game gives us belief,” added Neilson. “The players have to have belief in themselves going to these environments. You then have to believe in the team. The consistency of how we play and what we are doing helps the players with that.”
Neilson also offered a further update on contract negotiations with forward Josh Ginnelly and midfielder Robert Snodgrass. “Joe [Savage, sporting director] is dealing with that,” added the manager. We would love to keep him [Ginnelly] here, it's just a case of getting things sorted out. Joe takes the lead on it so we will try to get a deal done. It's the same with Snoddy as well. The two of them have done exceptionally well for us this year.”