Neilson reveals extent of Boyce injury following Dundee draw￼
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson reflects on Hearts’ disappointing 1-1 draw against Dundee. Jamie McIntosh reports.
While the majority of talk surrounding this fixture was to do with Leigh Griffiths returning to Tynecastle, it turned out to be another ex-Hibs man who found a way past Craig Gordon to make sure Dundee left Tynecastle with a point.
John Souttar had put Hearts ahead in the first half with a wonderful curling effort and Hearts did have chances to put the game to bed – most notably, Gary Mackay-Steven’s shot which struck the woodwork. However, Jason Cummings struck late in the second half to draw the away side level.
The draw maintains Hearts’ unbeaten start to the season, but when striker Liam Boyce hobbled off with a calf injury, supporters would’ve feared the worst.
Hearts boss Robbie Neilson was watching from the press box, as he served the first of his three-match suspension offered to him after receiving two yellow cards at Ibrox last weekend. He explained Hearts will assess the Northern Irishman tomorrow, ahead of the trip to McDiarmid Park on Wednesday.
“We will see how he is tomorrow,” Neilson said.
“He had a tightness in his calf. He is such a key player that we took him straight off to try to make sure he is all right. We will see how he is for Wednesday.”
Whilst many Hearts supporters left Tynecastle feeling angry that their side hadn’t been able to see out the remainder of the match, Neilson admitted he didn’t experience anger at the result.
“No, not [angry] at all. If you look at the bigger picture, we are sitting top of the league after 10 games. Yes, we are disappointed not to have taken maximum points after the way we played and the amount of chances we created, but I can’t fault the players for their effort and the way they tried to win.
“But when you are 1-0 up and you don’t get the next goal, you are always susceptible to losing one,” the Hearts boss added.
“You are always going to have games where you don’t have that final moment, but the key phrase is that we are getting the moments. We are getting into really good areas, having shots. Some days, it just doesn’t go in.”
Dundee’s goal came via a long throw, something that Hearts really should’ve dealt with. Neilson admitted the disappointment is failing to win a home game but highlighted that the key factor was the chances Hearts missed at the other end.
“Obviously, every goal, you are disappointed,” said Neilson.
“We limited them to very, very few chances. They got a throw-in, we didn’t make first contact on it and, when you do that, you leave yourself open to losing a goal. The key thing is that we didn’t get the second goal.
“No matter who we play here, we are expected to win. When we don’t win, there is a disappointment from the dressing room whether it is Rangers, Celtic, Dundee or Ross County.
“We expect to go and win the game. We didn’t win it today, but we had the chances to win it and the performance to merit it, but we have to accept the point and move on. We are undefeated after 10 games on our return to the top flight and the mood in the camp is very good.”