Robbie Neilson: Great to start new season with win

Hearts' manager Robbie Neilson. Picture: SNS Group
Hearts' manager Robbie Neilson. Picture: SNS Group
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HEARTS manager Robbie Neilson wasn’t surprised his team had the know-how to win the game in the final ten minutes as they had done it so many times in their Championship-winning season.

But his opposite number Tommy Wright believed St Johnstone should have taken at least a point from the match only for poor defending to be their undoing.

“We knew today was going to be really hard,” Neilson said.

“The pressure was all going to be on us, getting the flag, and the fans would have expected a victory. Last season stood us in good stead. We won so many games in the closing stages and that has instilled a belief. A game like today will help again. When you are 3-1 up and get pulled back to 3-3 maybe some people expect you will crumble.”

Neilson was annoyed by the goals Hearts conceded. “You don’t like conceding any goals but I thought the ones we lost were really poor.

“There’s something to work on but that was a team which hasn’t had the chance to play together. That was the first time the back four had played together, the first time [Osman] Sow and Juanma [Delgado] had played together.

“We had to patch the side up. There were guys who hadn’t played 90 minutes. [Prince] Buaben for one had barely trained. He only started five days ago when I told him I needed him.

“At half-time he said he was struggling. I asked him for ten more minutes but he managed the whole match.

“But it’s great to be back [in the Premiership] and playing in big games like this. You could see what Hearts bring: full houses, good young players, good foreign ones. It’s great to start with a win as well and players loved it but it’s done now. On to next week.”

Wright said: “If you’d told me we were going to score three goals away from home I’d expect we’d take something from the game. There’s no doubt we should have got something. We played extremely well, controlled large parts of the first half and I thought we contributed a lot to the match. But we shot ourselves in the foot – I’ve got to say, four times.”