Robbie Neilson relieved as Hearts find goal touch at Motherwell

Head coach Robbie Neilson expressed his relief as Hearts returned to goalscoring form to move up to second place in the league.

Callum Paterson, left, celebrates scoring Hearts' second goal with team-mate Conor Sammon. Picture: SNS.

Two goalless games against St Johnstone and Ross County had caused enough concern for Neilson to order shooting practice for his strikers.

But, while they didn’t score again in last night’s 3-1 win at Motherwell, Neilson had no complaints as Hearts 
celebrated their first victory at Fir Park for six years.

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The quality of three of the four goals scored was exceptional. Callum Paterson set the tone with an unstoppable left-foot strike from 22 yards after a shot by Sam Nicholson that deflected off Stephen McManus had put Hearts on their way at the end of the first half.

Arnaud Djoum secured the points seven minutes from the end with a well-placed shot while James McFadden’s free-kick consolation for Motherwell maintained the high standard of second-half goals.

“It was pleasing,” said Neilson. “We had chances before the first goal but we didn’t pull the trigger and didn’t hit the target. We needed that bit of luck and we got it and 
that helped open the floodgates.

“Everyone has to score goals,” he added, with reference to forwards Conor Sammon and Tony Watt again drawing a blank. “It is up to everyone else to chip in with goals and they did that tonight.”

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee was “hugely disappointed” with the result but “satisfied” with his
 team’s overall performance in a match where the winners knew they would go 
second, for a few hours at least.