Robbie Neilson: Hearts Must Be Wary Despite United’s European Woes
Neilson admits his old side have the experience to cause issues despite their European hammering, Aaron Fraser reports.
Robbie Neilson has downplayed the potential effect that Dundee United’s midweek horror show could have on this Sunday’s game at Tynecastle. The Tannadice side were on the wrong end of a 7-0 defeat at the hands of AZ Alkmaar but the Hearts gaffer won’t be taking any European hangovers for granted.
When asked about if he felt the Dutch debacle could negatively impact Jack Ross and his United side, Neilson’s reply was “I’ll tell you at 3:00 on Sunday, it can work both ways. They’ve got quite a bit of experience in that team, Mulgrew, Edwards, Fletcher. I expect them to be ready to come at it on Sunday and try to make amends for last night”
There was also a positive update from the Riccarton medical room as Cammy Devlin has been declared fit to start. Stephen Kingsley however isn’t quite there yet. “He’ll be ready for the bench” revealed Neilson, who won’t want to rush back his star defender and risk a further spell for Kingsley on the sidelines. “The key is to try and get him game time so he’ll be ready to start on Thursday if selected, and from that point it’s about trying to get everyone as fit as we can”
Neilson hasn’t had much trouble keeping his squad focused on Sunday’s game before European football begins next week. Competition for a place in the team to face Zurich is a strong motivator for anyone in maroon and white. “It’s a sell out on Sunday and the place will be rocking. We’re expected to win so the boys have to understand that. There will be guys who play on Sunday who have to make sure they stay in the team for Thursday so there is that competitive side as well.