Zander Clark's Hearts condition won't be known instantly as Robbie Neilson admits to tough spell

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson is hopeful the injury to Zander Clark sustained in the loss at Kilmarnock is just a nerve issue – but the club won’t know for a couple of days.

The goalkeeper was substituted at half-time having received treatment during the first 45 minutes following a hamstring injury. The decision was taken for Ross Stewart to replace his team-mate for the second half. “It’s his hamstring but to be honest it’s too early to say,” Neilson said. “The hope is it’s just a nerve. We won’t know until a couple of days’ time. The medical staff went on and thought it was just mild and that he might be able to get through it. Obviously, it wasn’t.”

The 2-1 defeat in Ayrshire, coupled with Aberdeen’s 1-0 victory in Perth against St Johnstone, means there is just one point between the teams in the race for third place. Neilson, who expressed his frustration at the performance, believes the team can respond and get through this difficult period having done it before. “We have to look at ourselves, we're going through a difficult period at the moment,” the Jambos’ manager said. “We've been there before and we can get through this. Everyone looks at themselves and makes sure we do things better. We started the first 20 minutes [well], got the goal and then losing the penalty seemed to rock us and we didn't show that [reaction] against adversity to get back and go again and do the basics. The game became erratic and it fell away from us. That was the biggest frustration. We need to do better.”



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