Robbie Neilson urges Hearts to extend league lead

HEARTS boss Robbie Neilson insists he is happy to keep the games coming thick and fast after urging his men to extend their Scottish Champions lead to nine points.

Robbie Neilson

While promotion rivals Rangers postponed Saturday’s clash with Cowdenbeath after Marius Zaliukas, Bilel Mohsni and Dean Shiels were called up for national team duty, Hearts will go to Alloa looking to add to the six-point advantage they already hold.

Neilson, whose only dilemma will be whether to play striker James Keatings - who is struggling with a groin injury - on the Wasps’ plastic pitch, said: “I’m quite happy that we can keep playing Saturday to Saturday. It’s important that we keep in the routine and keep the flow, so I’m delighted.

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“We don’t have any players away on international duty, Alloa don’t either so it’s game on.

“It’s a case of us looking after ourselves. We want to play Saturday to Saturday and we want to make sure we have a game that fans can go to on a Saturday.

“If we get another win then it gives us three points on the board and it’s another game down. It’s important that we try and do that. There’s still a long, long way to go.

“We’re under no illusions; it’s going to be a difficult game. Rangers drew 1-1 and Hibs got beat. We know it’s a difficult venue.”

Hearts trained on the Indodrill Stadium’s pitch this week after booking in as members of the public.

“It was good to go down and train on it,” said Neilson. “It was really just to give the boys and idea of what the environment is going to be like and what the surface is going to be like.”