Neilson insists Hearts players will have no problem lifting spirits for Fiorentina clash

Neilson insists Hearts players will have no problem lifting spirits for Fiorentina clash
Neilson insists Hearts players will have no problem lifting spirits for Fiorentina clash

HEARTS manager Robbie Neilson insists his players will not have any problems lifting themselves for Thursday’s crucial Europa Conference League clash with Fiorentina.

The Gorgie side were left licking their wounds on Saturday after being comprehensively beaten 4-0 by Rangers.

Their cause was not helped after having midfielder Cammy Devlin sent off just before the break.

Hearts had been feeling good about themselves prior to the international break after overcoming Riga FS in Latvia and then Motherwell.

Hearts currently sit second in Group A, two points ahead of Riga and Fiorentina, and know victory over the Italians in the third game of the section could go a long way to securing progress to the knock-out stages of the competition.

With this in mind, Neilson is sure his players will not wallow in self pity on the back of the Rangers defeat.

He said: “The players were in on Sunday and lifting their spirits for Fiorentina won’t be a problem.

“It’s another huge game, hopefully the learning curve from Saturday is that we learn to keep 11 players on the pitch and we give ourselves an opportunity to try and win the game

“The games come thick and fast. We have to be aggressive but keep 11 players on the pitch.

“We’re really looking forward to it and we have the chance to put right what happened on Saturday and we’ll see how that goes.”

Neilson brought off Stephen Kingsley and Barrie McKay at half-time at the weekend with what he described as ‘niggles’.

Defender Kingsley, however, admits he expects to be fit for the visit of the Italians after playing down the severity of his problem.

He added: “It was just a spasm. It was disappointing, I was looking to play on but with the bigger picture with Thursday, it was important I’m ready for that.”

One positive from Saturday was the performance of Stephen Humphrys. Starting on the right wing, the on loan Wigan player produced a lively display, particularly when Hearts had all 11 players on the pitch.

Neilson added: “He’s a good player. He’s got pace, power, physicality and can play in a number of positions.

“He showed what he can do on Saturday.”