Robbie Neilson acknowledges the importance of matching St Johnstone sharpness

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BY ALAN TEMPLE in Dublin – Capital City Press

Robbie Neilson admits Hearts need to execute the perfect pre-season after acknowledging that St Johnstone have been handed a head start thanks to their European exploits.

The Jambos play their first friendly this evening when they take on Irish Premier League outfit Bohemian at Dalymount Park as they step up preparations for their Premiership opener against the Saints on August 2.

Neilson is acutely aware that St Johnstone, who face Alashkert in the Europa League first qualifying round tomorrow night, could have four competitive matches under their belt by the time the sides meet on league duty.

Dalymount Park
Hearts’ pre-season fixtures begin with a trip to Dalymount Park (Pic: Bjorn Christian Torrissen)

 

It has made the coming weeks all the more important as he Hearts aim to hit the ground running following their promotion.

Ahead of their clash with Bohs, Neilson said: “It’s going to be difficult, they are well into their season and are a good side.

“These games are always difficult because they are desperate to beat you. That’s exactly what you want – it’s a good start for the boys.

“Juanma, Gavin Reilly and Blazej [Augustyn] have come in so we are looking to get them into games right away. St Johnstone could potentially have played four competitive games before they face us so it is important we get things right.”

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