Robbie Neilson reveals Hearts points target, hails fringe players and explains Simms and Devlin bench decision

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has revealed the team are “right bang on” where he wanted them to be as he set the points target for the season.

A 3-2 win over Dundee United at Tannadice took the Tynecastle Park men onto the 60-point mark, the first time that has been reached in the top-flight since Neilson’s first spell in charge.

The 2015/16 campaign saw Hearts finish on 65 points. The team are two wins from bettering that and reaching their highest points tally since the 2005/06 season.

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“It is right bang on where we wanted to be - we said 57 points before the split and that’s what we got,” Neilson said. “The next target was 64 because that guarantees third position most seasons.

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“We brought 2,000 fans here today and it’s about winning games, not points targets. The fans spend their money coming up here so we can’t say we’ve got a cup final in five weeks so get the cigar out.

“When you play with Hearts you’ve got to win.

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“Today was for us to show we wanted to win the game, we have had a good season but there are four tough games and a cup final to come.”

Neilson hailed his squad with a host of stars, including his first-choice defence, missing.

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Hearts boss Robbie Neilson hailed his squad after the win over Dundee United. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

“We have come to the team sitting fourth in the league and won even though we have seven or eight injuries.

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“To be honest, Ben Woodburn was the only one of the subs who was properly fit.

Ellis Simms has been carrying a knock so we knew we’d only get twenty minutes or so out of him. Cammy Devlin isn’t ready to play but we put him on the bench anyway and we also had a couple of young kids who played on Thursday and will play again on Wednesday.

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“So we are down to the bare bones but the bones are strong. The players are doing well, the guys who are coming in have been outstanding.

Josh Ginnelly came in today and I was delighted with him, then Ben Woodburn comes on in a position he’s not used to.

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“Taylor Moore has come in, he’s not played much but came in and looked comfortable.

“It’s important to have that. We are in a decent place right now.”

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