Robbie Neilson says Hearts 'need a few more in' as he responds to Lewis Moult rumours

A disappointing night for Hearts as they exited the Premier Sports Cup but manager Robbie Neilson said the result had not taught him anything new when it comes to making the most of what remains of the transfer window.

But it did highlight how difficult life could be if they do not succeed in adding the reinforcements required to bolster the squad.

“It was frustrating. We had loads of possession but didn’t really do a lot with it, said the Hearts gaffer. “Killie scored the first goal with their first attack and that let them sit in and kill the game.

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“We just didn’t have that spark that we’d normally have. A culmination of a number of games back to back and all the effort that’s been put in, we’re asking players to go again and again and because of the injuries we’ve not had a chance to rotate and I think that had a big influence on the game.

Hearts' manager Robbie Neilson on the touchline during the 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock at Tynecastle. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
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“We knew we’d have to get more bodies in anyway. So it’s about recruiting but also getting these guys ready for Saturday.

“I don’t like to put a number on it but you can see that we need a few to give us more.”

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He may not have wanted to put a number on it but he was willing to quash links with former Motherwell man Louis Moult.

With Liam Boyce out for up to nine months and Kye Rowles also a longer-term absentee, Neilson revealed that a few others are touch and go for a weekend return.

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Stephen Kingsley, Craig Halkett, Nat Atkinson and Jorge Grant could all be in the squad for the match against Livingston, giving them vital game time ahead of the opening Conference League group match against Istanbul Basaksehir next Thursday.

“You want to be in European football but it has its effects on players especially with the number of injuries we have.

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“When we’re asking these guts to go again and again, you are going to get those performances at times. If the match winners who have that spark to go by people don’t have that sharpness it’s difficult to break teams down. You could see that.

“I think we are better than that but you can see the fatigue in the players.”

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