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Robbie Neilson calls for improvements despite seeing Hearts extend unbeaten run

By October 27, 2021No Comments

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson admitted he was still unsatisfied despite his team drawing 1-1 with St Johnstone to go through the first round of cinch Premiership fixtures unbeaten.

Josh Ginnelly’s 40th-minute strike cancelled out Liam Gordon’s opener to extend the Jambos’ undefeated stretch to 11 games.

But Neilson felt that too many draws were costing his team as they slipped to third in the table.

He said: “It was similar to the Dundee game on Saturday. We played well, created chances and just that final moment wasn’t there.

“But the key thing is we have dominated against the double cup winners, a team that is very good at home. We had 70 per cent possession and 20 shots on goal. The disappointment is we never took the three points we merited.

“It’s nice to be unbeaten but we could have more points. We should have beaten Dundee, we should have won at St Johnstone and Ross County.

“That’s six points dropped so there are definitely areas to improve but we are playing good football. We are dominating games but we just need to work on that final moment.”

Neilson revealed he expects striker Liam Boyce to return for the trip to Aberdeen on Saturday after the Northern Irishman missed this game due to injury.

He added: “Liam will train on Thursday and should be OK for the weekend. Armand Gnanduillet did very well in his place.

“He’s a different type and the plan this season has always been to bring him in and out. I was pleased with his work. He was good and the only disappointment will be that he didn’t score.”

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson thought his team should have had a foul in the build-up to the Hearts goal. And he felt a pattern was emerging on that front.

He said: “I’m disappointed in the way we’ve lost the goal. First of all I think it was a handball and then it was a free-kick on Ali Crawford. You can see his back foot is taken away from him.

“That took a player out of position and they capitalised on it. I’m sounding like a broken record but big decisions are costing us. It basically gave Hearts a foothold in the game.

“I’m normally pretty calm and see the bigger picture but it’s just costing us points at the moment. Decisions are going against us – a lot of them. Hopefully it turns for us in the next quarter and somebody else can have a wee moan.”