Stephen Halliday: Hearts fans should welcome Robbie Neilson

New boss a clear upgrade on Daniel Stendel

Robbie Neilson has returned to Hearts as manager. Picture: Michael Gillen

Any Hearts supporters who don’t believe Robbie Neilson is an upgrade on Daniel Stendel as manager of their club really need to have a word with themselves.

When Neilson left Hearts in December 2016, making way for the ill-fated Ian Cathro experiment, they were second in the Premiership table after a vibrant 2-0 win over Rangers in his last match at the helm. Having romped to the Championship title in his maiden season and overseen a highly creditable third place finish in the first campaign back in the top flight, Neilson won just under 60 percent of his 106 games at the helm. Yet some Hearts fans are mourning the departure of Stendel, who won just five games out of 17 and was hurtling towards relegation. The German was a likeable character and clearly popular among a support worn down by the slump under Craig Levein. But he did nothing to suggest he is a better manager than Neilson.

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